In these challenging times, when Ontario is looking to attract a different kind of tourist, I think it is high time we started thinking out of the box.
Which is to say, I believe it is time we let the world know that this province has very liberal skunk hunting seasons. Heck, in some areas, skunk season is open year-round and, in the remaining regions, skunks can be hunted from September 15 to the last day of February.
Also, there are no limits.
This makes Ontario a skunk hunter’s paradise. Hey, I think I just found the slogan!
Naysayers might be wondering why we would do this?
I mean, Ontario has world class skunk hunting but, up until now, it has been our best-kept secret. Why would we want to share this with those less fortunate?
Because of the untapped tourist dollars, that’s why.
What kind of tourist this would attract? The short answer is bachelors. More specifically, confirmed bachelors. And, if the skunk hunter in question isn’t a confirmed bachelor, he will be for at least a month or two after a successful hunt.
If you think about it, the skunk hunter is almost the perfect tourist. For instance, if a group of skunk hunters visit, they’ll all want separate rooms in hotels, just in case one of them succeeds. Also, they’ll drive up in separate vehicles for exactly the same reason. Think of the money spent in new cloths, detergent and tomato juice, too.
And let’s not forget skunk hunting is the perfect sport in these socially distant times – you never have to tell good skunk hunters to stay six feet apart. Nor do you have to tell other people to stay six feet away from the skunk hunters. Plus, when skunk hunters are around, everyone holds their breath.
Of course, we can’t unrealistic about this. There are probably other regions of the world competing for the lucrative skunk hunting market. That’s why Ontario has to be proactive and start letting the world know about the phenomenal skunk hunting opportunities we have.
Look, I get it. We want to keep our natural resources to ourselves. But – and you might be surprised to hear this – skunks are an underutilized resource in Ontario.
Despite our generous seasons and limits, I can’t say I know a single skunk hunter. Nor does anyone else I know. And, believe me, those guys aren’t hard to locate if they’re around.
I blame this on horrible marketing. When’s the last time you saw a game cookbook with a good skunk recipe included? Or when is the last time you saw a gentleman donning a skunk-skin hat at a prestigious event?
Admittedly, we are talking about a niche market here. But what if we broadened it and tried to advertise to people with smelling disabilities or to people who have a sense of smell that has been dulled by their work – people in flatulence research, for instance? Or those who develop the colognes that teenage boys hose themselves down with?
Also, if we were to place a few skunk hunting stories into tourism brochures and maybe create a trophy skunk registry, we might be able to draw the attention of those looking for a new hunting experience, to compensate for their lonely bachelor existence.
If we did this right, hunters would come here from all over the world to earn their stripes. And our tourism people would know the sweet smell of success.
OK, maybe not sweet.