Saturday, August 08, 2009

Duck Poachers Captured

© 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

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Anonymous said...

Great news, and thanks for following this story Othmar.

Albert A Rasch said...


Greta job by you and all your fellow sportsmen way up North!

We, as hunters, need to be at the forefront of squelching these criminals and always being the ones that stand for the rights of hunters.

I've linked and commented on The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.

Albert A Rasch

NorCal Cazadora said...

Wish I'd known about that reward fund - I would've sent a check. I think hunting groups need to be at the forefront in the business of offering rewards for catching poachers.

But I'm truly thrilled that the hunting community acted as it did in this case. When I was having a comment discussion with an anti on another blog, I pointed her to your last post so she would understand that hunters do decry this kind of behavior.

Terry Scoville said...

That is great news! The story made me sick to my stomach and I didn't even need to watch the video.
Big kudos to the Canadian gov't. and hunters for catching these criminals. Throw the book at them and then throw away the key.

CDGardens said...

Yes, I must agree that animal rights activist will somehow twist the actions of poachers to be the normal actions of all hunters, which is a far cry from the truth.

Truly the Internet media became a useful tool in cutting short the investigation time that sometimes is long and drawn out.

Way to go hunters! ;)

Anonymous said...

It is always good to hear that the good guys won.
I am sure those guilty are regretting what they did now and hopefully will not do it again.
Thanks Othmar for keeping us posted.

Live to Hunt.... said...

What a great outcome to a terrible situation. I am proud of my brothers and sisters!

Othmar Vohringer said...

Thank you all for your comments. My sentiment matches that of yours. It is really amazing how the hunting community came together on this case. It also has shown that when we stick together hunters can achieve the goals they set. Here is hoping that this serves as an example of how powerful we can be if we stick together and use this unity among us in the future to defend our rights.

A special thank you to Albert for posting my first post about the poachers, it helped to spread the word and get peoples attention. As bloggers we do have a powerful voice and can reach millions of people faster then any other media.

NorCal Cazadora – I didn’t know either until Thursday that a group of hunters got together and pledged $1,000 reward fund. Had I known I would have pitched in too and I am sure many other hunters would have donated money too.

I'll will keep an eye on this case and post updates as they become available.


SimplyOutdoors said...

Glad to see these dirt bags got caught, and that they did get caught because hunters took a stand against them and pooled their resources.

Way to go all you hunters from the north. We have to be vigilant about these sort of topics, and not let law abiding hunters be associated with these kinds of poachers.

native said...

Excellent Job Othmar!
I believe that your original post on this crime had a lot to do with their capture as well.

The very best to you always,
T. Michael

Monica said...

I'm an animal advocate and am as happy as any of you that these idiot killers were apprehended. This is one of those instances where we can celebrate the common interests of hunters and animal welfare proponents. We all abhor this type of horrid slaughter. I find it disappointing that you've used this blog space to create more philosophical distance where we could, in fact, find agreement. It's when we come together that decency prevails. I believe tips came in across the board, from both hunters and non-hunters. We should celebrate that joint success.

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