Beware of wolf snares when out in West Country

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 consequences for those innocently enjoying our public lands.

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 consequences 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 back country this spring, be extra cautious. Watch for raven and magpie activity or the odor of rotting meat—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

Innisfail Eagles win Senior AAA provincial semifinal, earn final spot in Allan Cup

For the first time in their 71-year history, the Innisfail Eagles will… Continue reading

Ford says social media allows politicians to circumvent mainstream journalists

OTTAWA — Premier Doug Ford says mainstream journalists have become irrelevant because… Continue reading

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

The endless war against invasive species

Group looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Pricey Titanic wreck tours hope to bring new life to a century-old story

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Adventure tourists with money in the bank have… Continue reading

France investigates after older protester is injured in Nice

NICE, France — French authorities are investigating the case of an older… Continue reading

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Sunday that special counsel Robert Mueller’s… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Rothmans, Benson & Hedges gets creditor protection in $15B Quebec lawsuit

MONTREAL — Rothmans, Benson & Hedges has become the third tobacco company… Continue reading

Monster Energy drink recalled due to possible glass fragments

OTTAWA — Monster Energy Canada Ltd. is recalling one of its drinks… Continue reading

Global ocean group to study possible toxic splashdowns of space debris

A global agency that sets rules for the seas is studying the… Continue reading

Online real estate auctions try to shake up sales with novel approach

An online auction for a luxury home in Abbotsford, B.C., is drawing… Continue reading

Most Read