By Adam Randell
What were those Gordon Pinsent words from the Newfoundland based movie the Shipping News?
Oh yes, “I’m some disgusted with the human race.”
Those words keep getting easier and easier to say these days, especially when it comes to the way we are dealing with moose.
There are talks of relocating the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement offices in Roddickton and Port Saunders to one location in Brig Bay.
While nothing is finalized, the notion of even considering such a move is beyond us.
The two offices currently in place are strategically located to split the vast Northern Peninsula in two – eastern and western.
Harbour Deep to Main Brook on the eastern portion consists of 10 salmon rivers and approximately 500 kilometres of forest access roads, that’s only one of a number of patrol areas.
It’s far too much for any one office to take on alone.
Retired game warden Earl Pilgrim is also condemning the notion of relocation. From his own experience, he has stated that time is of the essence when dealing with potential poaching and moving further away is only going to slow an officer’s response.
Given the fact that the moose population has been in decline since it peaked in mid-‘90s at 150,000 animals, and last year 1,500 available licenses were cut, the Department of Justice should be building up the current offices for enhanced protection instead of moving them away.
More recently our disdain for moose treatment comes from two dead moose found at the Ship Cove highways depot.
One was behind a tractor bucket and the other further back in the woods.
While the Department of Justice isn’t outright calling it a poaching incident, things are looking that way.
And that is utterly disgusting.
There are some poachers who are of firm belief that you eat what you kill and the illegally taken animals are used for food. While still completely wrong, there is a small amount of integrity in that philosophy.
But to just shoot something and leave it for the crows is something else altogether and the people of Ship Cove are feeling the same way – there initial reaction was one of surprise and disappointment.
Every since the seal hunt money scheme was conjured up by activists, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been billed as barbarians.
But in our own way we refute such statements with stories of our own.
This year and the last alone Newfoundland tales of rescued sharks, turtles, whales and moose have found its way into the headlines.
In our connection with the land we find our compassion to do the right thing. After all nobody sensible wants to see an animal suffer.
Unfortunately people who think it’s a quick laugh to shoot out of season are undoing all that humanitarian effort.
So congratulations poachers you are undoing everything we have built up and have officially disgusted the entire Northern Pen staff. We hope you all get caught.