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Ford government spending $100K on ‘Hats for Hides’ hunting program

The Ford government is spending $100,000 on a program that encourages hunters to trade-in deer and moose hides so they can be turned into commercial or artisan goods.

“Hats for Hides” provides hunters with a hat or crest in exchange for pelts harvested throughout various hunting seasons in the province.

“The program gives a positive alternative to casting off unwanted hides,” said Jeff Yurek, MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, in a news release.

Hunters can bring pelts to depots spread throughout Ontario, including several located within or nearby Indigenous reserves. According to the Peterborough-based company that runs the program, BRT Group, pelts collected at those locations are tanned and the leather sold at powwows or turned into other goods for sale.

The Progressive Conservative government has made several overtures to the province’s hunters, including freezing fees for hunting licences and reviewing how moose are managed with the ultimate goal of making the prized game “more accessible” to hunters.

The spending was announced as the province faces criticism for funding cuts to public health, child care and education, among others.

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