Canadians love hunting and fishing, but there are fewer of them.
And that’s a big part of why we love them so much, says a new survey.
The results from the 2014 Hunting and Fishing Canada survey were released Thursday by the Association of Professional Hunters and Anglers (APHA).
The group, which represents hunters and anglers in Canada, says that number is down from the year before, when almost half of respondents said they had a job in hunting and fished.
And the survey found that hunting is more popular in Ontario, with a quarter of the province’s population saying they hunt.
But APHA says the hunting jobs data doesn’t tell the whole story.
It notes that in the years leading up to the survey, there was a “large surge in hunting jobs,” and that in 2014, about 2.5 million jobs were created.
But that surge ended when the recession hit, so the jobs data didn’t reflect that change, says APHA president Rick Pyle.
It’s a trend that APHA has been warning about for years, saying there’s a “huge demand for hunting and fishery services in the province.”
That’s the same demand that APHAs president Chris Friesen says is driving the hunt economy in the GTA.
“Hunting and fishing are a vital part of the livelihoods of millions of Canadians.
And this report shows that even as demand continues to increase, there are still plenty of jobs available in the industry,” Friese says.
But this year, APHA said the number of hunting jobs actually fell in Ontario and British Columbia, even as other regions saw a surge in demand.
In Alberta, the number dropped to 7.1 million from 8.6 million.
And in Quebec, there were only 1.9 million hunting jobs last year compared to 2.4 million in the previous year.
The number in Manitoba, the Prairie province that borders the Great Lakes, also fell, to 667,000 from 739,000.
And the number fell in British Columbia in all provinces, to 948,000, compared to 1.7 million last year.
That’s the opposite trend from what APHA found two years ago, when it said that hunting was still growing in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the province was booming.
But in 2014 and 2015, the hunt industry was booming in Ontario.
APHA noted that more than 80 per cent of the jobs in Ontario were in hunting, fishing, and trapping.
And while the jobless rate in Ontario fell in 2015, it was still higher than the national rate of 6.3 per cent.APHA says there are plenty of reasons why the hunt is booming, but says there’s also an important part of hunting and angling that it says can be overlooked.
“The industry is growing faster than it’s been in the past, and that has created an environment that is challenging for our business and for the public to navigate,” Fuesen says.
The survey found nearly half of all hunters and fishers said they’re “very or somewhat satisfied” with the jobs they have.
But just 20 per cent said they are “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” about their jobs in the hunt and fishing sector.
And 19 per cent were “slightly satisfied” and 6 per cent “very dissatisfied.”