Why hunt sandhill cranes?

To the Alberta government, for even considering opening up a hunting season for the magnificent sandhill cranes.


To the Alberta government, for even considering opening up a hunting season for the magnificent sandhill cranes.

Why would somebody want to shoot such a beautiful creature?

For the sport? Hardly.

There’s no challenge in blasting away at this graceful gliding bird. Only a hunter with an empty shotgun and both barrels plugged with field dirt and cow manure could miss this easy target.

Would the gangly birds make a tasty addition to the meal table? Perhaps a bit stringy, unless one bags a young bird and has the right recipe — if one exists.

Or is the real reason that a sandhill crane, at the hands of a taxidermist, would make a fine-looking stuffed trophy in the den for somebody who has more money than common sense?

Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton is quick to point out that a crane hunt has only been suggested. “That’s all it is — it’s a request.”

Who’s doing the asking? Quentin Bochar, president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association, for one, is pushing for the hunt. Bochar said hunters are always keen for new opportunities and the sandhills request has been a longstanding issue for some association members.

The AFGA is a powerful lobby and watchdog group to which Albertans owe a lot of thanks for many ground-breaking conservation and environmental initiatives that have kept the province on its toes.

But other conservation groups are concerned that hunters might confuse sandhills with the endangered whooping cranes. It’s not uncommon for a hunter, in the heat of the shoot, to confuse a mule deer for a white-tailed deer or a swan for a snow goose.

The idea of a crane hunt just doesn’t make sense.


To Lorraine and Karl Martinek, who have been the operators of the Canyon Ski and Recreation Area on behalf of fellow shareholders for decades.

Lorraine, a native of Red Deer, and her husband poured heart and soul into developing the area, eventually turning it into Alberta’s largest non-mountain ski area.

Those slopes are fondly remembered by many Central Albertans because, as youngsters, they honed their skills there before heading to the mountains.

Canyon is now for sale. It’s feared that the area might fall into the hands of housing developers, depriving public access to this gem in the Red Deer River valley.

But the City of Red Deer and Red Deer County have since joined forces in a bid to purchase this magnificent piece of property.

The two municipalities want it preserved for the public, which is the wish of the Martineks, said their lawyer, Christopher Warren.

Many thanks for the memories and work the Martineks put into Canyon, which for so many Central Albertans holds a treasured place in their hearts.

Rick Zemanek is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Photos: Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

Clearwater regional firefighters in B.C.

Crew operating west of Prince George

PHOTOS: Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow

The Samson Cree Nation hosted its annual Pow Wow, celebrating youth last weekend

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

Street Tales: Life is filled with unlearned lessons

There are days that I almost believe evolutionists in that we are… Continue reading

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

OTTAWA — Canadians are generally supportive of current immigration levels, a survey… Continue reading

Quebec announces plan to compensate taxi drivers after Uber’s arrival

MONTREAL — The Quebec government has outlined how it intends to compensate… Continue reading

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

OTTAWA — The loss of Saudi Arabian resident physicians in Canada’s hospitals… Continue reading

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Death Valley worker has seen highest, lowest temperatures

LAS VEGAS — Thousands of tourists descend on Death Valley each summer… Continue reading

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

BANFF, Alta. — An internationally known ski resort in Banff National Park… Continue reading

Folk singer Ian Tyson cancels show due to ‘serious medical situation’

TORONTO — Canadian folk singer-songwriter Ian Tyson has cancelled his appearance at… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month