© By Othmar Vohringer
Every Sunday begins for me with watching the Canada in the Rough hunting show. I usually do not watch hunting shows on TV but I would have to have a very good reason to miss this particular one.
There are a number of reasons why I like Canada in the Rough. First would have to be that this show is an all Canadian production. The producer and host Thomas Pigeon is a Canadian and so is his crew. Plus all hunts take part in Canada. But there has to be more to a show then just national pride to make it my favorite and that is where Thomas Pigeon comes in to play.
Besides being a down to earth guy, as in a hunter like you and me, and showing hunts as they happen even if that means that no trophy, or no game at all, is taken, he is also a tireless advocate of all legal hunting methods. Each show segment Pigeon is shown hunting with a compound bow, or a crossbow, perhaps with a rifle, shotgun or a muzzleloader. He does not favor or promote one hunting method or game animal over another one. To him it’s all about hunting regardless of what legal choice the hunter uses to pursue his or her passion. I like that attitude because that is exactly how I feel too.
In each show he will go out of his way to explain how important it is that all hunters unite and the good hunting does for wildlife and habitat conservation. “Okay” you may say, “so do other TV hunting shows”. Yes that is true but the difference here is that Canada in the Rough does not air on a hunting or outdoor channel where it is save by preaching to the congregation. Canada in the Rough is aired on Global TV, which is the public channel watched not only by hunters but by everybody. With this public platform Canada in the Rough takes the hunting agenda to the very people that need to hear our message – the non-hunters.
Thomas Pigeon has a solid track record of being one of Canada’s most avid amd vocal hunting promoters in public. Pigeon is the founder and chairman of the Canadian Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA). This is Canada’s first and as of this writing still only organization with the sole purpose of promoting and lobbying hunting, fishing and trapping to the public as a viable and important Canadian heritage.
This past Sunday found me as usual in front of the TV in anticipation of another exiting Canada in the Rough show taking the viewer to another of Canada’s many stunningly beautiful places on a hunt for our rich and diverse wildlife. But instead of a hunt Thomas Pigeon, sitting on a campfire, announced that this show, named “Politics of Hunting”, would be dedicated solely to the important role the Canadian hunting heritage plays in the wildlife/environment conservation sector and the economy of Ontario and Canada.
For this Thomas invited a special guest. The guest it turns out was a high profile politician. To say I was surprised is an understatement when I heard Frank Klees, the Progressive Conservative MPP (Members of Provincial Parliament) for Ontario, speak openly and positive about hunting. It does not happen often, or make that never, that a politician is brave enough in these politically correct times to go on public record with a full endorsement statement for hunting, fishing and trapping. But that is exactly what Klees did. For a full half hour he talked about how important it is to support this Canadian heritage not only as a important wildlife management and conservation tool, but also as an important multi million dollar part of Ontario's economy.
Ontario's hunters, fishers and trappers contribute millions of dollars in license sales alone plus further millions and employment through guide / outfitters and sporting goods stores. I couldn't find the exact figures but the talk is of around 45 million dollars overall. Yet the current Ontario government is ragley ignorant of this important contribution by flirting with animal rights to gain city folks votes they try to cut back on that economy and with that ultimately on wildlife and habitat conservation too.
In these politically correct times where for the most part politicians are more concerned with what a largely ignorant city people think it takes courage for a politician like Frank Klees, running for Premier in the election, to speak out publicly on behalf of hunters, anglers and trappers. Klees was also brave enough to say very clearly what he thinks of the animal rights and anti hunter movement. It’s an opinion that surely won’t go down well with the city folks in Toronto that have for the most part been brainwashed with the lies of animal rights, but it is a message that needed to be told and needs to be told many times more. If hunting is to survive into the future we have to carry our message to the people on the street and that is exactly what Pigeon and Klees did masterfully on "Politics of Hunting" last Sunday.
Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Tags Canada in the Rough, Thomas Pigeon, Global TV, Canadian Outdoor Heritage Alliance, Frank Klees, Progressive Conservative Party, Politics of Hunting