Pos­si­ble poach­ing

Wildlife of­fi­cers are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a pos­si­ble moose poach­ing near walk­ing trails in Cor­ner Brook.

The Gulf News (Port aux Basques) - - Front Page - BY GARY KEAN

A team of fish and wildlife en­force­ment of­fi­cers combed the wooded area in and around walk­ing trails be­hind Mar­garet Bowa­ter Park af­ter some­one alerted them to an in­jured an­i­mal Jan. 23.

Blood found on the snow and on the trees along a path of hoof prints in the woods be­tween the pipe­line and Cor­ner Brook Stream in­di­cated a moose had been badly hurt.

Shel­don Anstey, re­gional su­per­in­ten­dent for the prov­ince’s Fish and Wildlife En­force­ment Di­vi­sion in western New­found­land, said it was clear the moose had suf­fered ei­ther a gun­shot or bow and ar­row in­jury to the face or head.

The com­plainant, con­firmed Anstey, never saw the moose and never heard a gun­shot. The trail of ev­i­dence did not seem likely the an­i­mal had suf­fered a nat­u­ral in­jury or an at­tack from an­other an­i­mal, he noted.

The trail of blood even­tu­ally di­min­ished and of­fi­cers try­ing to lo­cate the moose lost track of it af­ter it seemed to have en­tered the Cor­ner Brook Stream. They searched un­til night­fall, but didn’t lo­cate it and the search was called off.

Anstey said poach­ing a moose is a se­ri­ous of­fence, but the fact a high-pow­ered weapon of some sort was used in that area is even more con­cern­ing. The walk­ing trails in the area are pop­u­lar among out­door recre­ation en­thu­si­asts, even dur­ing the win­ter months.

Be­sides hunt­ing vi­o­la­tions, who­ever was re­spon­si­ble for harm­ing the moose may also face firearms charges un­der the Crim­i­nal Code of Canada, in­clud­ing care­less use of a firearm.

The law stip­u­lates no firearm is to be dis­charged within 300 me­tres of any home or within 1,000 me­tres of a play­ground or school. While the area in ques­tion may have been fur­ther than 300 me­tres from the near­est home, it was well within a kilo­me­tre of Mar­garet Bowa­ter Park and the Blo­mi­don Golf and Coun­try Club, Anstey said.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent in­cludes the Royal New­found­land Con­stab­u­lary, and the au­thor­i­ties are look­ing to speak with any­one with knowl­edge of what hap­pened or who might have seen any sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity in the area.

In­for­ma­tion can be pro­vided anony­mously and toll-free to the Fish and Wildlife En­force­ment Di­vi­sion at 1-877-820-0999 or Crime Stop­pers at 1-800-222TIPS. Anony­mous on­line re­ports can also be sub­mit­ted at www.stop­poach­ing.ca or www. nl­crimestop­pers.com.

The RNC can be reached by call­ing 637-4100.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

This blood spat­tered on the snow helped con­vince fish and wildlife en­force­ment of­fi­cers that a moose had been wounded by a high-pow­ered weapon.

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