Our Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives
As every hunter knows a wounded animal does not always leave a visual trail that a human hunter can track successfully. Human beings by nature are excellent hunters, but our tracking skills are sorely lacking when compared to other hunters in the animal kingdom.
This is the time when a hunter should consider a leashed tracking dog and handler to help locate and recover our most precious big game resources, deer, moose and bear in Ontario. It is a well-known fact that dogs have excellent noses and can smell scents that may or may not be visible and that we human beings would have no chance of locating or following.
Big Game Blood Trackers Ontario (BGBTO) is an organization of volunteer handlers and their trained leashed tracking dogs. BGBTO’s mission is the ethical and humane quick recovery of wounded big game animals through the use of trained leashed tracking dogs.
In the spirit of Section 36 of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act a hunter who kills game wildlife shall not abandon it if its flesh may become unsuitable for human consumption. Our goal is to assist hunters in the quick recovery of their wounded big game animals.
BGBTO’s aim is to reduce the number of animals that cannot be found regardless of the exhaustive efforts of ethical hunters.
Some of our objectives include increasing hunter awareness of how a dog can assist a hunter in tracking wounded big game, promoting tracking to other people interested in becoming handlers, sharing information and advice with people interested in tracking and with hunters interested in tracking dogs. Our greatest challenge lies in the promotion of legislation to authorize the use of leashed tracking dogs for finding wounded big game in Ontario.
Our founding members Laurel Whistance-Smith, Ernie Schroeder, Thomas Bunge and myself, Scott Leindecker met at Laurels beautiful property near Bethany Ontario in August 2011.
Our meeting started out as a tracking workshop that Laurel organized. We were very fortunate that Laurel invited John Jeanneney from the Von Moosbach-Zuzelek Dachshunds
Kennel in Berne New York and Darren Doran from New Jersey to come to our workshop.
John Jeanneney is North Americas leading authority on using dogs to track wounded big game animals. John and his wife Jolanta have spent a good part of their lives selectively breeding a line of European based Wire Haired Dachshunds to be used for tracking wounded big game animals. John has written a book on the subject of tracking with dogs and he has been instrumental in establishing tracking legislation in a majority of U. S. states.
John and Darren laid artificial blood lines for our dogs to practice on and presented a full day of seminars on all aspects of tracking from different breeds of dogs to training and equipment and the efforts that they have gone to in the United States to have tracking dog legislation introduced.
Laurel further invited Kerry Coleman to attend our workshop. Kerry is an MNR employee and a director in the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Toward the end of this great weekend we began talking about forming a club to promote leashed tracking dogs and tracking legislation in Ontario. We accomplished a lot that weekend including making some new friends and having a great time (with our dogs).
To date we have officially formed our club, Big Game Blood Trackers Ontario. We are an affiliated club with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and we have been actively involved in trying to persuade the Ministry of Natural Resources to introduce tracking legislation in Ontario to allow leashed dogs to track wounded big game animals.
Ontario is way behind in legislating leashed tracking dogs to be used in locating wounded big game animals. It only makes sense that people involved in hunting would be allowed to use a dog to track wounded big game. When the law requires you to do everything in your power to keep a big game animal from spoiling, how could dogs not be at the forefront of that requirement? Both Quebec and Nova Scotia have had tracking legislation in place for a long time. Nova Scotia’s legislation is very simple and straight forward. British Columbia is in the process of introducing tracking legislation. It is time for Ontario to institute the same legislation as Nova Scotia and demonstrate a commitment to conservation.
It has been a long, hard, frustrating endeavour to try and persuade our government to introduce sensible tracking legislation. We are not there yet. We are hoping to see legislation introduced this year, whether or not it is sensible legislation will remain to be seen.
We have had some new members join our club and we are looking for more. You don’t have to have a dog to join our club; all you need is an interest in the conservation of our big game animals. A love of dogs and the outdoors would certainly be beneficial attributes as well.