MONCTON, N.B. – New Brunswick hunters are holding out hope they’ll be able to hit the woods next spring for the province’s first wild turkey hunt.
Prior to the election, former premier David Alward said a limited number of turkey tags would be handed out next year. But there are now no guarantees the hunt will go ahead.
Lisa Godin and Teresa Elliott from Nova Scotia are hoping the hunt goes as planned. The pair is traveling to Maine to hunt wild turkey next weekend, where they’ll spend as much as $3,000 each.
“We go a minimum of eight days when we go and there is a lot of money spent down there,” said Godin.
She’d prefer to spend that money much closer to home.
Mike Holland with the New Brunswick chapter of the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation says former premier David Alward said in August that the province would have its first limited draw wild turkey hunt next spring.
He hopes the Liberals move ahead with legislating the spring hunt.
“The state of Maine has in excess of 70,000 birds right now and they don’t require a passport to cross into New Brunswick,” Holland said. “So there has been a migration from the northeastern part of the states into New Brunswick.”
He says wild turkey hunting is a $10-million industry across the border.
“When you factor in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars in gear that an individual hunter has, the food the travel the lodging,” he said.
First time turkey hunter Teresa Elliot says she would prefer to hunt in New Brunswick rather than travel to Maine to spend her money.
“I think it’s very exciting for the people of New Brunswick because then they don’t have to travel away and they can keep the money here in their province,” she said.
Holland says it will take years for New Brunswick to establish a lucrative hunt because the wild turkey population still needs to grow.
“We are going to work with the Department of Natural Resources and hopefully to determine the safe level of tags,” he said.