Alas: Beauty’s Only Skin Deep – The Canadian Wildlife Federation and Hunting Ties

I was extolling the virtues of the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s website the other day, mostly because of its beautifully designed, and expensive looking, graphics. I thought, “How unusual, for an environmental organization to have the funds to splash out on design services like this”. See post below.

A reader quickly informed me of the hidden base of support from Anglers and Hunters that the Federation stands on. A little research produced this info:

The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), which claims to be Canada’s largest protector of wildlife, is run mostly by people who kill animals for sport.
But from the way it publicizes itself, few of its supporters are likely to know this. The CWF has 650,000 members and supporters [and] the CWF itself is made up of 12 provincial and territorial federations of rod and gun clubs and individual hunters and anglers. All of the federations, including the largest, the 74,000-member Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), promote hunting and fishing interests.People who join CWF because they love animals are considered associate members and have no vote. These non-voting supporters get their information about the organization mainly from its glossy magazines and catalogues, which avoid any mention of the CWF’s connection with hunting.

So, just a caution. The website is still beautiful, and there is a ton of wild gardening information there. I’m certainly going to continue to visit. Just be advised, if you, like me, are not in favour of hunting for sport, of what you might be getting into if you join the ranks of the organization, or donate.

Like the Ducks Unlimited organization, where hunters promote wildlife only to destroy certain select members of it, it opens up a whole world of controversy. Just 2 days ago I was listening to a debate about this on CBC where hunters defended their self proclaimed “eco-friendly” practice of “harvesting” animals. I don’t know how I feel about this, my gut reaction is “NO!” It definitely gives one pause, to think of the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s backyard wildlife program being promoted only to have guns turned on those “preserved” species down the line.


  1. My mind is divided on this subject.

    If hunters and “fisher-persons” were wanton or wasteful about their sport, I’d be fine with feeling stand-offish about the CWF. However, as a meat-eater myself, I don’t think I can fairly take a superior moral stance on hunting or fishing — provided it’s done responsibly.

    The CWF has certainly raised my consciousness. I mean, what child of my generation doesn’t remember Hinterland Who’s Who?

    I suppose it’s akin to tobacco companies sponsoring sports events.

    As you say, Sarah, controversial…

  2. I like the Wild About Gardening site too, but thanks for letting me know about the hunting/fishing link.

    I’ll still visit to get useful information, but I’ll send my donations elsewhere.

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