Saturday, Sept. 16 is National Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing Heritage Day to recognize the importance of these activities to our economy, identity, and culture.

This year, Heritage Day coincides with Waterfowler Heritage Day — set aside for young hunters under the age of 18 to hunt ducks for a day before the regular opening day. The public hunting blinds at Long Point will be available for use that day, with a draw being held at 5 a.m. to select blinds. Note that early Canada goose and mourning dove season are already open.

And to set the stage for all this, the day before has been unofficially deemed Camo Day. So, if you come in my office and see my staff wearing camouflage clothing, this is not a fashion faux pas. I’m featuring squirrel hunting gear I picked up in North Carolina.

On the provincial legislative front, as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources, I shepherded legislation in 2002 to enshrine the right to hunt and fish in Ontario. Our Heritage Hunting and Fishing Act passed and recognize our outdoors heritage. Speaking to the bill at the time, I said: “In my riding, for example, hunting and fishing are, for many, much more than recreation. They are a way of life.”

Read more here: