Hunters divided over extended duck season
The P.E.I. chapter of the Delta Waterfowl Foundation agrees with the P.E.I. government's proposal to extend the black duck hunting season until the end of December.
Island hunters are not all in favour of the change. Hunters for Conservation argues it's unethical to allow hunting when freezing conditions lead to less open water, making it easier to shoot the ducks.
Eric Paynter, president of the P.E.I. chapter of the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, said P.E.I. has one of the shortest hunting periods for black ducks, and the decision should based on science, not emotion.
"It's about access and opportunity. You get a few extra days off between Christmas and new year's, what other good way to spend the holiday weekend, a family getting together going out, sitting in a duck blind, maybe harvesting a duck or two for Christmas dinner," said Paynter.
"As far as the ethics of it, if Canadian Wildlife service tells us we can harvest x amount of birds, why can we not. I personally would have an issue with setting up under a bridge. On the other side of the coin, if it's legal, then I guess I can't say a whole lot about it."
The longer season would have a lower daily bag limit, and the province says the same number of birds would be hunted in either case.
The Canadian Wildlife Service says over the last decade the Island has had mild winters, and fewer ducks are lingering during December and January. It believes the regulations being put forward will sustain healthy black duck populations.