By Dave Lazzarino
After 26 animals turned up dead and their carcasses left to rot in the Edson area, Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers are on the hunt to collar the killers.
"Sometimes hunters are out there and they do shoot something legally and ultimately tracking it, it just gets away from them," said Fish and Wildlife officer Scott Kallweit.
"It's part of hunting and any hunter would tell you that's probably the last thing they ever want to happen. Then there's also cases like this, where it's not hunting it's just people poaching."
This season alone, six moose, 15 deer, four elk and one black bear have been discovered shot and left to rot in the woods.
"It's not typical," said Kallweit, adding because of the circumstances involved and the proximity to town, it is believed the people responsible may be from the Edson area, about two hours west of Edmonton.
The most recent case involves a cow moose and her two calves, all found shot dead with small and large calibre rifle wounds, about a half a kilometre outside of town.
Along with the impact on local animal populations, the poaching threatens to give a black eye to an otherwise sustainable pastime where hunters sometimes wait up to six years just to draw tags that allow them to hunt certain animals.
"I think people that don't hunt don't completely understand that the hunting community in general is very law-abiding and ethical in what they do," said Kallweit.
"What they get is a bad rap from this because people that don't hunt see this as kind of a hunter issue. It really isn't. It's a poacher issue, it's a criminal activity."
This criminal activity is a serious one. More....