Sears pic

Winter 2023

President’s Report, By Scott Sears

Hello fellow Trappers,
I hope your trapping season is off to a great start.

It was great to see everyone at the Parry Sound Convention and AGM, and thanks to Central VP Ray Gall and his team for making it successful. It’s nice that we can finally get together and have Trappers’ Council meetings and workshops again. With that being said, you may see a couple of the OFMF Executive show up at your zone meeting or workshop to help with any questions or issues trappers may have.

Your trapper’s licence this year has been printed on a green piece of waterproof paper to make it easier for you when looking through the papers when opening your licence package. MNRF Policy Branch attended the Parry Sound Board meeting and the Friday night AGM. They are looking into trappers being able to provide a picture of their licence on their phones. For now, you still must carry your licence with you. The issue is that a Conservation Officer cannot access FURMIS to see the information on a trapping licence and the cost for the tech teams to update FURMIS is a considerable amount.

Some of you may have noticed the Billboard campaign that Robin had worked on just before his retirement. These billboard signs were in place in bordering towns throughout the province starting September 5th for a six-week period. There were six signs in total: Kingston, Fort Erie, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Sarnia and Sault Ste. Marie. The sign had two youths looking over a beaver pond. The OFMF logo was on the sign and under the logo it said “In Ontario, Trappers work to maintain healthy wildlife populations for today and the future.” The OFMF is hoping to continue the billboard campaign on a yearly basis. The Truth about Fur ran an article on this promotion and along with the FIC are hoping to have a billboard campaign across Canada.

As I am writing this article, the OFMF Executive, along with myself, are still extremely frustrated with the Trapline Allocation policy. We are trying to set up a meeting with the new Minister Graydon Smith to try and get this new policy signed off. We were hoping for a meeting towards the mid to end of October. The Policy Branch mentioned that if it wasn’t signed off on before January 1 that we may have to go back to the old policy to get traplines allocated.

I have been acclaimed to the FIC Board with a Director seat under the harvester category. I have also been selected to be the chair of the TRDC committee. Robin has accepted the co-chair of this committee. There is testing being done on kill type snares for coyote and wolf. I will continue to keep the members updated in the future with what is happening on the FIC and TRDC.

The transition for our new GM Lauren Tonelli is going very well. Robin has been in to help train and guide her when needed. I would also like to thank Lisa and Mackenzie in their part of this transition and the hard work they do.

Congratulations on Robin’s retirement. I cannot thank him enough for all his support that he has given the OFMF and to know that he can be counted on in the future. IF HE’S IN SERVICE!