| Mar 26, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - March 26, 2009 Conservationists of Frontenac Addingtonby Ron Pethick

The meeting was held on March 12. Ron Pethick welcomed all members and guest Colin Cotnam, MNR Canine Unit, with his dog Tanner. Richard Foy was asked to give an update on the feeding of the deer. He reported that the deer are scarce, hard to feed and the wolves are thick. The few deer in the area are scattered, making them hard to feed. Trails need to be started earlier in the winter next year if the snow is as deep as this year in order to be better prepared for feeding. It is hoped the number of antlerless deer tags will be lowered for this year. COFA will try to give some help to those who are feeding deer on their own.

Doug Tocher asked members to drop off any spare magazines at Bishop Lake Sales. He will take them to the Kingston Cancer Clinic - they are in dire need of updated magazines.

The new Fisheries Zone 18 started its meetings last October. Jen Baker is the COFA representative and was appointed co-chair. The only topic discussed so far has been sunfish. – “Are too many being taken?” etc. The next topic apparently will be gorge hooks. This new zone, covering very diversified areas, is far too large.

Ron spoke on the status of the pickerel hatchery. The submission prepared by COFA members is now at the next level. We hope to hear from Randy Hillier's office soon.

A reminder to everyone: the Trappers’ Workshop is Sunday, April 19, at the Lions’ Hall in Northbrook from 10AM – 4PM. Also the COFA Annual Beef BBQ will be Saturday, April 25.

Ron thanked Roger Meeks for the large donation of lumber being used to build a shed to store COFA's BBQ and other equipment.

Ron then introduced Colin Cotnam. Colin has been with the Bancroft Canine Unit for a year. Prior to that he worked in other parts of the province. He gave an overview of what the unit does. They assist conservation officers, provide assistance in high-risk takedowns, provide educational sessions for children and adults, and provide canine assistance to other law agencies. He explained the very thorough training the dog trainer must complete before he is given a dog. Once the trainer has his dog, it is up to him to train the dog in obedience, detection, tracking, etc. It is also very important for the dog to have complete trust in the trainer. At present there are six to seven dogs in the province used by the MNR. Once Colin had given all the background, he brought in his dog, Tanner, a yellow lab/shepherd mix. He demonstrated how Tanner obeys his commands. Before the meeting started, Colin

had hidden three small plastic bags – two containing fish, one containing minnows. Tanner was instructed to search and didn't take long to find the fish but knew he was not to touch the minnows as they are not part of his detection items. Everyone learned a lot and enjoyed the demonstration.

Ron thanked Colin and Tanner and gave each a gift from COFA. The half & half draw was held with Ken Black the winner. Coffee and cookies were available for those who wished to stay and talk.

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm.

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