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 with Rob Miskosky

Outdoor Stuff

Recently, a bobcat was seen walking around a Calgary neighbourhood with a Conibear trap on its paw. I have to imagine the trap was placed by a local resident most likely trying to rid him or herself of problem skunks, or possibly raccoons in his or her yard. And, of course, a cat being a cat, the bobcat put its paw in the trap trying to reach whatever item was used as bait. The kicker is the bobcat has been seen in this Calgary neighbourhood for several years. In fact, in Disneyesque fashion, the residents of Lake Chaparral even have a Facebook page for the cat, which they have named Bobbi, of course.

The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society managed to capture the bobcat, which is now recovering. But the good folks of Lake Chaparral want revenge on whomever it was that placed the trap, suggesting, “The police should be invest(igat)ing who put out this trap! That is crazy dangerous and stupid to be putting out in a community. These bobcats are all over the city and they are not harmful. Absolutely no reason to be setting out traps,” and “OMFG!!!! What a cruel Asshole!!! So dangerous for the community. You don’t think poor bobby wont attack people now?? He’ll be in so much pain. I hope wildlife can try and find the poor thing.”

But the best one, “That’s why we look out for him, so our pets can be safe.”

I’m pretty sure Bobbi the Bobcat has probably had a few “Chaparral pets” for breakfast; after all, bobcats, including Bobbi, are ambush predators that will eat what they can catch, including small pets, because it’s what they do.

Ironically, just a few months prior to Bobbi’s mishap, a Calgary family were horrified to discover their doorbell camera had captured footage of a bobcat (maybe even Bobbi?) cornering, capturing, and killing their beloved family cat, Penny. With bobcat sightings in Calgary reaching well more than 200 over the past year, many residents are concerned for the safety of their pets, as they should be.

But it’s not helpful when you have folks such as many of those in Chaparral parading a bobcat as some kind of resident citizen. Yes, it’s nice to see wildlife such as bobcats in your backyard, but only until they eat your pet.

And then our favourite anti-trapping group showed up, Vancouver based The Fur-bearers, once again screaming and hollering bloody murder for all trapping to be stopped. Funny, they (The Fur-bearers) were never heard from when Penny was eaten.

* * * * *

As expected, Manitoba has finally joined the CWD gang with its first case discovered in a male mule deer in December 2021, after years of waiting for it to arrive in “The Keystone Province”.

And, of course, it was found along the Saskatchewan border, just as it was in Alberta. Now, in 2022, Manitoba has seven recorded cases, all in male mule deer.

And, just as Alberta did way back in 2005, helicopters were deployed and 500 deer along the western border of Manitoba were aerial gunned by Fish and Wildlife officers over a four-day period. And, just as Alberta saw, many folks were horrified by the tactics taken by the Manitoba Department of Natural Resources. But I’m here to tell you that where Alberta failed in containing CWD is when public pressure—and politicians that capitulated to that pressure—ended the cull here. And because of that end, we now have CWD nearly across the entire province. Had the cull been allowed to continue, much as rats are culled along our eastern border, CWD would not be endemic to this province today.

* * * * *  

Meanwhile, PETA is upset again.

The small town of Killingworth, Connecticut has drawn the ire of our favourite animal-rights activists. PETA is offended by the name of a road in Killingworth, a road name that many in Killingworth are, in fact, “quite proud of.” Apparently, the name of the road dates back to before Killingworth was even founded, and many believe the road was given its name because of a barn fire that roasted a trapped herd of cattle; hence, the name of the road, Roast Meat Hill Road.

However, our twigs and nettle eating friends at PETA figure the name of the road is offensive and should be changed to Roast Vegan Hill Road. They are even offering to pay for the sign change and “hold a giveaway of tasty vegan ham sandwiches in town if you agree!” and, “By renaming the road, you would spread goodwill to all sentient beings...”

However, in Killingworth, there is much doubt the idea would be welcomed.

For previous Outdoor Pursuits click here.

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