Producers join forces with hunters to protect land in Mauricie

The Union des Producteurs Agricoles (UPA) of the Mauricie region is launching a pilot project to pair producers with hunters of animals that damage crops. Aware of the problem that weighs on the shoulders of farmers and breeders, the UPA hopes to reduce the number of species on the land.

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Amicable partnerships already exist a lot in the field between producer and hunter, but not everyone has the same resources.

“Other producers who may not have knowledge or people who hunt wild turkeys, it’s more difficult at that time,” explains the vice-president of UPA Mauricie and apple producer. of land, Marie-Christine Brière.

“We also support producers and hunters on certain aspects, for example travel, work carried out in the field, schedules, etc. “, specifies the spokesperson of the UPA Mauricie, Jean-Sébastien Dubé, to avoid conflicts.

The pilot project also concerns white-tailed deer, black bears and migratory birds.

In Sainte-Geneviève-de-Batiscan, it is mainly wild turkeys that cause crop damage.

They roam in herds on the land of Denis Couture, an agricultural producer. According to him, the pilot project is a great initiative, but above all the regulations should be changed.

“The hunter, we will give him the right to hunt on our land, but for a turkey. The problem is that we have a hundred turkeys,” exclaims the producer.

The bag limit is one or two turkeys per permit, depending on the hunting area and the season.

However, it is not the hunters who are lacking. Several times a week, Mr. Couture receives calls from hunters from all over Quebec who would like to come and hunt animals on his land.

“I would say that at the moment, things are stagnating a lot at the level of the Department of Wildlife in relation to this because the wild turkey is not recognized as a pest animal for agricultural businesses in the same way as the bear makes damage or that the deer do damage to the crops that, at that time, we will obtain a special permit,” adds Ms. Brière.

Extending hunting seasons or increasing quotas could also improve matters.

In the meantime, the pilot project is taking place during regular hunting periods and the number of game remains the same as usual.

Producers and hunters who would like to participate in the project must register on the UPA Mauricie website.

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