Short Hills Provincial Park will be closed to the public to honour treaty rights with a First Nation Deer Harvest.
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy has notified the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks that it wishes to exercise its right to harvest deer in Short Hills Provincial Park. The park will be closed on the following dates and will re-open at 8 a.m. the following morning:
- Wednesday, October 12
- Tuesday, October 25
- Saturday, November 5
- Wednesday, November 23
- Saturday, December 3
- Wednesday, December 14
- Ontario recognizes the rights of this local First Nation to conduct a deer harvest in the park. The ministry also recognizes and seeks to balance the interests of the different users of the park and local community. Working with the ministry, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy has agreed to only carry out its harvest during outlined times and within the park boundary. Public safety is the primary concern of the ministry. This is why the park will be closed to the general public for the duration of the deer harvest. Access points will be monitored. Park closures are authorized under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006. For safety reasons, on the harvest dates do not enter the park and please comply with all posted notices. To help protect the safety of the public, the harvesters and ministry staff, a number of measures will be put in place:
- Archery will be the means of harvesting deer. No guns will be allowed.
- A harvest zone has been established and the deer harvest will stay confined to the agreed-upon zone.
- Harvesters will be stationary and away from the park boundary.
- All participants will be advised of the safety protocols and procedures.
- Ministry staff will be present at authorized access points and other locations to advise members of the public and park users that the park is closed during the harvests and that access is prohibited.
- Notices will be posted at the park entrances.
- Each harvest will consist of a harvest day (beginning one half-hour before sunrise and end one half-hour after sunset) and post-harvest maintenance the next morning (beginning at sunrise and ending at 8:00am. All First Nation harvesters will be made aware of the terms of the harvest agreement that has been reached between the ministry and the Haudenosaunee Confederacy to ensure a safe and humane deer harvest. If you require additional information on this First Nation deer harvest at Short Hills Provincial Park please contact Greg Wilson, Ontario Parks Southwest Zone Manager at 519-873-4616 or Greg.Wilson2@ontario.ca.