Ranchers using aircraft to track livestock

Farmers and ranchers shouldn’t be blamed for low-flying aircraft suspected of being used by big game hunters, a rancher says.

Farmers and ranchers shouldn’t be blamed for low-flying aircraft suspected of being used by big game hunters, a rancher says.

Earlier this month, Consort RCMP requested the public’s help in finding people responsible for using aircraft in the area for hunting.

However, in the fall and early winter, ranchers regularly fly low over the vast open range country looking for stray cattle, says Coronation area rancher Wally Henry.

In some cases, the animals have wandered after sloppy hunters have knocked down fences or failed to lock gates when hunting illegally on ranch land.

“I don’t own a plane but I rely on neighbours who have one and fly with them when I’ve lost cattle.

“This time of year, you have to make sure they’re safe ’cause it’s getting to where the snow flies and the cattle can die if they’re lost and wandered away from water and feed,” Henry said.

He also said most hunters aren’t from the area.

“This time of year, the place is crawling with them and most of them aren’t from here.

“They’re mostly a surly bunch who don’t ask permission to go on the land and a lot of times will open a gate and just drive in.

“Sometimes they will bust down the fence and just drive through with their big bush trucks.”

Henry said he’s had to kick a few off his land this year and it’s the same every hunting season.

“Yeah, we get some big trophy animals out this way and further east but it only takes an honest guy to come up to you and say ‘Can I hunt on your land and where don’t you want me to go?’.”

Cpl. Colm Fitzgerald of Consort RCMP said on Thursday that the police received some complaints of aircraft being used for hunting earlier this month.

“We’ve had a few ranchers come in really ticked off and say ‘it’s not me’ using the planes for hunting,” Fitzgerald said.

“We’ve got a lot of ranchers out here who use their planes to check on their cattle and we know that,” he said.

He said police are working with Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers to investigate the complaints.

He also acknowledged some hunters may use a guide to fly over a potential hunting area searching for a trophy animal.

East Central Alberta has seen many trophy winning animals taken in recent years.

It’s illegal to shoot animals from an aircraft and it’s also illegal for a person to hunt big game within six hours after having disembarked anywhere from an aircraft.

Conviction can result in a fine up to $50,000 or jail for a term of not more than one year.


Just Posted

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today, some complain of long lines

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia are heading to the polls today… Continue reading

Kennedy Stewart named mayor of Vancouver; one of several B.C. turnovers

VANCOUVER — Former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart has won a neck-and-neck… Continue reading

‘In our bloodline:’ Land-based learning links curriculum with Indigenous culture

REGINA — A school day for six-year-old Hunter Sasakamoose can start with… Continue reading

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Most Read