Warning of potentially deadly hazard

I feel it is my responsibility to warn Albertans of a potentially deadly hazard in the West Country this spring.

Dear Editor

As a retired Problem Wildlife Specialist with the Provincial Government, I feel it is my responsibility to warn Albertans of a potentially deadly hazard in the West Country this spring which could have TRAGIC conse- quences for those innocently enjoying our public lands.

Alberta Fish and Wildlife allows the baiting of black bears and wolves for sport hunting in much of the West Country. This practice is regulated and bait locations must to be posted with warning signs. Of course, anyone encountering these signs should leave the area immediately.

My concern relates to the now common hobby of wolf snaring by Alberta trappers. Readers may not be aware that the West Country is divided up into dozens of registered trap lines, with trappers allowed to bait wolves so they can be snared. The foothill areas from west of Calgary north to Grande Cache is especially popular for wolf snaring because the Alberta Wild Sheep Foundation and local trapper associations provide a wolf bounty of about $300 per head.

Wolf bait sites usually consist of a pile of road-killed ungulates or other carcasses, around which up to 100 snares are set. One of the problems with this practice is that trappers can put their carcass dumps wherever they please and are not required to post any warning signs. Naturally, these locations are strong bear attractants at this time of year. Anyone out enjoying the country could easily and unknowingly stumble onto one of these bait sites with tragic consequences. I am afraid that it’s just a matter of time before someone is needlessly maimed or killed.

If you are out enjoying the backcountry this spring, be extra cautious. Watch for raven and magpie activity or the odor of rotting meat. These are signs that could indicate a wolf bait station and that bears will likely to be in the area. Be especially careful if you have a dog along, as it may warn you of a bait or a bear, but unfortunately, a bear might chase the dog back to you. The dog could also get caught in a snare, which was not picked up.

Pay attention and be safe.

Dwight Rodtka Rocky Mountain House


Just Posted

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle

Ponoka RCMP seek assistance in locating vehicle belonging to the tire

Six horses stolen from Winfield area

RCMP seek public’s help in missing horses investigation

Almost 100 kgs of suspected cocaine seized at Coutts border crossing

84 bricks of suspected cocaine seized from California residents’ vehicle; largest recorded seizure.

Good response to kids and drugs program

Substance abuse prevention program held

Council approves sign

New entrance signs for Rimbey

Trudeau apologizes for decades of LGBTQ discrimination by federal agencies

‘I am sorry. We are sorry,’ Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Firefighters protect seaside California towns as blaze rages

A flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday

Putin declares victory on visit to air base in Syria

Declaring a victory in Syria, Putin on Monday visited a Russian military air base in the country and announced a partial pullout of Russian forces from the Mideast nation.

Pipe bomb explodes in NYC subway

Pipe bomb strapped to man explodes in NYC subway, injuring 4

Toronto FC to hold victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Toronto FC to hold downtown victory parade following MLS Cup championship

Canada’s only commercial spaceport hopes to launch 12 rockets per year

Nova Scotia’s rocket launch site hopes to eventually host 12 launches per year

‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

The nominees were announced from Beverly Hills after still-burning fires ravaged Southern California for the past week.

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read