No foul play suspected in 40 Canada geese carcasses dumped on mid-Island

Conservation Officer Service said birds were likely taken in legal hunt

The carcasses of 40 Canada geese discovered dumped off a remote trail near Errington this week were more likely the result of a successful hunt than foul play, the BC Conservation Officer Service said Wednesday, March 14.

The bird carcasses were discovered together in a pile at the end of a dead-end trail that branches off a decommisioned logging road in the area off Dunn Road in Errington. At a glance, the birds appeared to be intact, but Stuart Bates, a conservation officer in the Central Island Zone, said the breast and leg meat had been removed from the birds.

“It would appear to have been hunters; the last day of the season was (Saturday) March 10,” said Bates. “The catch limit is 10 birds, so 40 birds would suggest, presumably, four hunters.”

Bates said he attended the site Tuesday, March 13, following a report to the COS.

He noted meat can be taken from birds while leaving the carcass otherwise intact, so it can appear whole birds have been dumped. Bates added that conservation officers actually recommend hunters leave the inedible portions of their catch back in the wild where they can feed eagles, turkey vultures and other scavengers.

“I can cite somebody for dumping in areas that are heavily travelled,” he said. “A hiking trail, where it can attract bears, is not the best spot. Ideally we want them to put (hunting remains) where people are not going to find it.”

In this case, Bates said, the presumed hunters did just that. He believes the carcasses were most likely discovered by somebody walking a dog that “got a whiff of the geese and bolted for them.”

By Wednesday afternoon, the remains had clearly been discovered by scavengers, with wings and bones scattered as much as 40 metres from the dead end of the trail where the bird pile was left.

There will be no further COS investigation into the incident, he said.

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