By Chris Halliday
Grand Valley resident Peter Turrell can still hear the yelping cry of the white tailed deer wandering onto his property from the Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area.
Discovering the deer’s backend had been “blown out by a shotgun,” Turrell felt he had no option but to put the animal out of its misery.
“I broke the law,” he lamented. “I’m sitting there shooting a deer out of (hunting) season, but the thing is sitting there crying at me.”
It wasn’t the first time Turrell has been forced to euthanize a wounded deer drifting onto his property, nor does he expect it’ll be the last animal he comes across.
This is an example of a growing problem brought to the attention of the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), which jointly own the Luther Marsh.
“I’ve had a lifetime of (explicit) hunters wounding things. Just this year, it seemed to get out of hand,” Turrell said. “It’s time to let the poachers know that we’re out to get them.”
The Upper Grand Watershed Committee fears Luther Marsh has become a prime place for poaching. Comprised of local politicians and residents, it’s calling on the MNR and GRCA to find a solution.
“It is a huge issue,” said Amaranth Coun. Jane Aultman, chair of the committee. “We’re trying to get some kind of support from the ministry to try and alleviate the problem.”
By Luther Marsh superintendent Bob Bell’s definition, poaching is any intentional or unlawful activity to kill animals, hunting during the offseason included.
“We’ve had reports of snares being set up for white tailed deer. There are people who shoot at night,” Bell said. More....