Hang onto your hats, hunting season is officially underway.
As always, it promises to be a busy one for our local conservation officers and they need all the help they can get from the public to keep the season clean and protect our resources from the handful of bad apples out there.
Sgt. Len Butler, head of the Cariboo Chilcotin zone, says he and officers Jeff Tyre and Justyn Bell have already received complaints through the government’s RAPP line, including one that came in last week regarding a dump site at 150 Mile House.
Butler said he’d like the public’s help in finding the persons responsible for dumping the remains of two young mule bucks butchered, quartered and stuffed into garage bags and left Sept. 5 or 6 about a kilometre up the Redeau Lake Road.
Butler said he couldn’t determine whether the kill was legal because bow season was open at the time, however wasting meat or leaving bags of rotting carcasses in a residential area is not only illegal but obviously not good hunting etiquette, and he is encouraging the public to call the RAPP line if they have information on this incident.
On a brighter note, Butler says it was a great opening day Tuesday with no major incidents to report.
Even though he’s been in his job for many years, Butler says he, like many local hunters, still get excited about opening day and is happy to be working in an area where “hunting is not a bad word.”
He says the service will be keeping hunters in check with many roving patrols and plan to pay extra attention to those more remote locations in our area this year.
Besides hunting, the conservation officer service has also been fielding more complaints regarding human-wildlife conflicts.
Last week was a prime example of that, with a cougar being spotted on Woodland Drive and a grizzly bear attack at Bella Coola.
In the case of the cougar, Butler said the animal has left the area for now but they are reminding the public to be aware of their surroundings this time of year and report further sightings.
In last Friday’s grizzly attack, Butler said the conservation officer service’s predator attack team investigated the incident.
Butler said investigators monitored the site where the attack took place for 35 hours and found the bear only returned once at night.
Along with information from the attack, the bear’s behaviour following the attack, and in consultation with the community, the team ultimately determined it was not necessary to destroy the bear.
The Bella Coola valley is certainly a divided community when it comes to beliefs of whether a bear is worth more dead or alive, and this incident is providing more fuel for that debate.