© By Othmar Vohringer
Officials with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment confirm that three individuals have been arrested early Saturday morning in connection with the duck killing video posted on YouTube. I reported in my column on August 03 about the outrage of the Canadian hunting community and the hunter communities combined national effort to capture the poachers.
It took less than a week to catch these criminals. This must be one of the shortest times in apprehending poachers and it's in large part due to the Canadian hunters. Ones again hunters have shown that they are the true stewards of wildlife and habitat. Gary Harrison, head of special investigations for Saskatchewan's Ministry of Environment, said "It was more of a response than any other single event since the Turn In Poacher's (TIP) line began, which I believe was in 1989. Not only did we get calls here (in Saskatchewan), but Alberta Turn In Poacher's line as well received numerous calls."
Hunters were on the forefront in this manhunt from the moment the original video was posted on YouTube. After the original video had been taken down by the original creators a hunter from Alberta posted it back up again to make the video available to as many people as possible. Hunters created a special Facebook page “Get the Poachers” for the gathering and exchange of information on the poachers and to spread the word to as many people as possible.
The Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum created a special discussion section about the duck poachers and became the national "duck poacher action headquarters". Some members used their media connections to spread the word and ask for information about the identity of the poachers on TV and radio appearances. Other forum members familiar with video editing dissected the video frame-by-frame to find clues to identify the area where the crime happen and details of the firearms and vehicle that had been used and to obtain "mug shots" of the perpetrators. It was in any event an extraordinary effort on behalf of all ethical and law-abiding hunters of Canada that ultimately lead to the capture of the poachers this Saturday morning.
With this exemplary effort by hunters to bring the criminals to justice it seems almost like a joke that the Canadian Humane Society, an affiliate of the notorious Humane Society of the Untied States (HSUS), felt that they had to chime in too. Three days ago Michael O'Sullivan, the executive director of the Canadian Humane Society, announced that his group is offering $1,000 to anyone that helps catch the perpetrators. This was after a group of hunters already pledged a $ 1,000 reward for the capture of the poachers.
O'Sullivan also said that the Canadian Humane Society would ask the prosecutors to take away the privileges to hunt and own firearms from the criminals. Which is a mute statement clearly aimed at sounding important or concerned. The removal of hunting privileges and taking away the privileges to own firearms is already common court procedure in all poaching cases. Not that criminals ever where overly concerned about the loss of hunting and firearm ownership privileges. What bites more are the heavy fines, up to $ 15,000, and possible jail time that awaits the duck killers.
I fully expected, and predicted it in my first column about the duck poachers, that the animal rights fanatics would chime in and try to get some media mileage out from that case. I also predict that the animal right will use this case in the future in their bid to ridicule hunters and associate us with poachers. The animal rights must just hate that it had been hunters, the very people they decry as “cruel”, that showed passion and respect for wildlife and the law and by doing so are responsible for bringing down the duck poachers.
Following this story through the media I am pleased to say that the media behaved and not ones, as usually is the case, used the words “hunters” and “poachers” interchangeably. In fact the media made it very clear that these are poachers, not regular law abiding hunters. It is my hope that in future the media will do the same and not revert to the “mistake” of using the word “hunter” for poachers.
Well done my fellow hunters and conservationist from Alberta and Saskatchewan. This is another day to be a proud hunter.
Othmar Vohringer Outdoors
Founding Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
Tags: You Tube Duck Killing Video, Duck Poachers, Alberta, Saskatchewan, duck Poachers Arrested, Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum