Hunters’ Heaven? Within seconds, thousands of geese lift off this body of water on the southwest corner of Provost. There were an estimated 10,000 birds on the water when this picture was taken.
©Provost News Photo.

Most Follow Rules During Hunting Season
—Conservation Officer

As hunters are in the midst of another annual shoot conservation officer Lee Robley finds that “most everybody is following the rules.”

He’s busy checking to see that the laws of the land are being observed —and said in an interview that he will go out at different times of the day—and even night to watch for infractions.

“It’s pretty hard to hide . . . you’re sitting up in a field in plain view.”

In addition to licences, Robley will check hunters’ shotguns to see that they carry no more than three shells in a gun. Most shotguns can hold more shells so legally the hunter must have a plug in the magazine to prevent that. The idea is to prevent continued shooting towards birds that might only wound some as the birds fly further away.

So far this year the conservation officer has written three warnings over hunting infractions. Generally he would write a couple more warnings but the season is not over yet. “It’s usually not too bad at all.”

He and his colleagues across the province will also be on the lookout for alcohol consumption but points out that it has not been a problem. “Definitely firearms and alcohol don’t mix.”

The goose and duck hunting season runs until early December.

If you’re out with the shotgun and have the necessary paperwork you could bring home 20 snow geese per day (with a possession limit of 60). Laws will let hunters bag eight Canada geese per day with a possession of 16 (five of the eight can be white fronted geese and the possession would be 10 white fronted out of the 16).

Laws limit hunters to take eight ducks daily with a 16 total possession. (On the daily limit only four ducks can be pin tail with only eight pin tail for possession).

If you want to head out on a shoot with your buddies you will need in addition to your gun and ammo:
• a wildlife certificate for around $22;

• provincial game bird licence for $8.46;

• and a federal migratory bird licence sold for $17.

A non-resident pays more, and foreign hunters pay yet a higher rate — except for the federal migratory licence that is the same for all hunters.

Robley suggests that Americans like to come here to hunt for geese because the bag limits are bigger up here than in the U.S.A. “We have some pretty good shoots here and variation of landing spots.”

Permission is required to hunt on other persons’ land.

Robley says that although he hasn’t seen as many birds as previous years—likely because of the drought there are still plenty of birds passing through here—and will likely be until around November.
Does the man who hunts for hunters also hunt for birds? Sure. “I’ve hunted goose some, and I like the breast strips fried up.” Others will roast the geese like they do turkeys while yet others will breast them for the fry pan or get the meat made into jerky.

• Big Game
After the bird season winds down many will bring out their big game rifles for a season that will run from November 1 to 30.

In the scopes will be mule and white tail deer, elk and moose. The elk, moose and mule deer only were on a special draw while the white tail deer is an open season.

Moose, says Robley are getting to be common in the Provost area with more showing up, though he doesn’t know why. “The habitat is here and they’re expanding into it.”

Antelope are not to be shot in this area.

The big game archery season meanwhile has been on since early September and ends tomorrow (October 31).

With the big game rifle season nearing Robley says that because of the extensive range of the bullets, hunters should make sure their shots are in a safe direction. “Have a back drop and know what you are shooting at.”

Some big game bullets can still be dangerous up to a four and seven mile range.

Hunters should know their country and make sure a farmhouse is not on the other side of some trees—it easily could be, says the officer. That knowledge should be part of a pre-season scout. “Know where it’s safe and where it isn’t.” He adds not to forget that potentially there are also other hunters walking around.

Hunters don’t have to wear bright colours legally but doesn’t hurt to wear a red toque or something like that on, Robley adds. The animals being hunted are color blind.

Bottom line: “Be careful. We do get complaints now and again, but it hasn’t been too bad.”

Print version and picture in October 30 edition of The Provost News
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Street Spokesman
We asked: "What if This Area Had No Police Officers?"
. . . and we heard opinions from Aron Allchin, Karli Sortland, Cody Pickard, Kelsey Laye and Colin Pickard.
Check out the October 30 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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