Two incidents of poaching this summer, including one 15 kilometers south of La Ronge, has the Ministry of Environment requesting information from the public to help solve the crimes.
According to a Sasktip news release, conservation officers received a call Sept. 4 about fish which were dumped and left to rot near a popular hiking and berry-picking trail by Napatak. The officers found 21 whole whitefish, along with the remains of 50 walleye (heads, skin and spines). A release from the ministry states officers also discovered a bear carcass with the meat, skull and paws removed.
The second incident regards the shooting of two white-tailed deer, which were found between Aug. 16 or Aug. 17 near Amyot Lake. Officers discovered the bucks shot, partially dressed and dumped on a trail at kilometer 120 along Highway 155. The release states officer believe the deer were shot between Île-à-la-Crosse and Green Lake, and noted there was no white-tailed deer season on at the time. Tire tracks near the dump site appear to be Goodyear Duratracs.
“It’s something we do run into and some of these things, if it wasn’t for the public’s help, we wouldn’t even know about,” Conservation Officer Rich Hildebrand said. “We always need the people’s help.”
There are several ways the public can report such incidents or provide information about ongoing cases. People can call the Turn-In-Poachers hotline at 1-800-667-7561, dial #5555 on SaskTel phone or leave a tip online. In 2017 and 2018, Hildebrand noted there has been 1,975 calls to the 24-hour hotline and more people are calling every year.
More calls could be coming in in recent years, Hildebrand said, because more people are becoming more aware and educated on environmental concerns. He added there’s also been an increase of people reporting illegal activity on social media.
“I really do believe the majority of Saskatchewan residents are concerned about protecting our natural resources and environment,” Hildebrand said.
All tips provided to the Ministry of Environment are confidential and people who call do not need to give their name. Those who provide information leading to a conviction are elgibile for a reward up to $2,000.
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