By John Cotter
The Alberta Fish and Game Association says the shooting of dozens of animals by suspected poachers this fall is deplorable and points to the need for more wildlife officers.
In just one area west of Edmonton, officers are investigating the deaths of 26 deer, elk, moose and a black bear — the carcasses were left on the ground to rot.
Association president Gord Poirier said there have also been cases of drunken people out hunting and people shooting animals at night from vehicles.
"No sane person, or sober person, would do something like that," Poirier said Monday.
"It is just a waste. And the danger -- people shooting from roads is unethical."
Poirier said the Alberta government needs to more than double the number of wildlife officers to about 250 and impose tougher penalties to end such carnage.
Brendan Cox, a spokesman for Alberta's Justice Department, said the animals shot in the Edson area were killed over a six-week period.
"This incident in Edson is not typical of that area but it is concerning because of the number of animals involved," he said. "Our officers are looking for tips from the public."
Cox said Alberta has about 112 wildlife officers that investigate between 750 to 1,000 reported poaching cases each year.
The Alberta Conservation Association estimates fewer than 10 per cent of poaching cases are detected. The top five poached mammals in Alberta are deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and bears. More....