More calls from the pub­lic

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY NANCY KING nk­ing@cb­

Mem­bers of the pub­lic are more and more re­port­ing il­le­gal hunt­ing and fish­ing ac­tiv­ity to Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources staff.

SYD­NEY — Mem­bers of the pub­lic are more and more re­port­ing il­le­gal hunt­ing and fish­ing ac­tiv­ity to Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources staff, a lo­cal of­fi­cial says.

Bruce Nunn, re­gional man­ager of en­force­ment, said it’s been a busy sea­son for con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cers.

“ We’re get­ting more calls from the pub­lic, which is great, be­cause get­ting them in­volved in pro­tect­ing our re­sources is the way it should be, we’re work­ing for them,” he said.

As for what’s be­hind that, Nunn re­ferred to re­cent cov­er­age in the

Cape Bre­ton Post, in­clud­ing a story on il­le­gal moose hunt­ing, which spurred a lot of feed­back.

“Peo­ple would call us and even meet up on the street and say, ‘ by the way, did you hear about soand-so?’” Nunn said.

Staff is also tar­get­ing ar­eas where they know there have been prob­lems in the past, he added.

“ We’re try­ing to do law en­force­ment dif­fer­ently as well, it’s not just re­ac­tive, just wait for some­one to pick up the phone and call us, but to ac­tu­ally try to be in the right area at the right time as well.”

The pub­lic is gen­er­ally sup­port­ive of ef­forts to stop poach­ing, Nunn said, be­cause they want wildlife to be pro­tected. He noted sea­sons and bag lim­its play an im­por­tant role in pro­tect­ing fish pop­u­la­tions. He noted poach­ers of­ten be­lieve they can get away with their ac­tions be­cause they take place in re­mote ar­eas and they can go un­de­tected.

DNR staff con­duct­ing wildlife sur­veys via he­li­copter last week dis­cov­ered il­le­gal ice fish­ing at Ste­warts Lake, a re­mote fresh wa­ter lake near Louis­bourg. Con­ser­va­tion of­fi­cers vis­ited the area and found ev­i­dence linked to il­le­gal fish­ing, seiz­ing sport fish­ing equip­ment, fish­ing rods and tackle. They are con­tin­u­ing to look into the mat­ter and have some sus­pects.

The depart­ment and Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing a com­plaint of deer jack­ing that occurred Wed­nes­day at 12:30 a.m. in the Moun­tain Road area of Cox­heath. Four shots were re­ported to have been fired and a dark-coloured truck with a loud ex­haust and bright blue head­lights was seen in the area.

Staff also seized some trap­ping de­vices in the Long Is­land, Ge­orges River area, where some­one was us­ing il­le­gal trap­ping meth­ods and not mark­ing their equip­ment as re­quired.

DNR also con­ducted unan­nounced off-high­way ve­hi­cle pa­trols on the week­end and found that com­pli­ance to reg­u­la­tions was high.

Any­one want­ing to con­tact DNR staff can call 1-800-565-2224 or email RE­PORT A POACHER or fill out a re­port at­force­ment/fill­out-form.asp.

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