Mass killing of geese flock leaves Taber farmers angered

By CHAT News Today
November 9, 2017 - 2:25pm Updated: November 9, 2017 - 3:17pm

TABER - A Taber-area farming family is shocked, after a flock of dead Canada geese were found buried under the snow on their property.

According to Twyla Valgardson, who lives on a farm north of Taber with her husband, the bodies of the dead birds were found on Wednesday morning (Nov. 8). Her husband, who makes rounds of the farm, had noticed a few birds in a snowdrift off one of the roads in the area, and stopped to brush through the snow.

He uncovered a pile of Canada geese, which had been shot and dumped along the road. Upon placing a call to Alberta Fish and Wildlife, the Valgardsons found that a report had already been made, and an officer was enroute to the scene.

Once the officer pulled up, Valgardson’s husband spoke with the man, and the pair began to search through the snowdrifts.

“Between the two of them, they started un-piling the birds,” said Valgardson. “Snowdrift after snowdrift, they started lining them up along the side of the road.”

According to an official in the Lethbridge office of Alberta Fish and Wildlife, over 90 birds were found dead at the scene. Valgardson said they were all buried under the snow, in different piles.

“My husband is a hunter,” said Valgardson. “My whole family hunts. Even the conservation officer, he’s a hunter, and it’s one of the saddest things you’ve ever seen, because they just disregarded them, and threw them out. They didn’t even use the meat, for anything. Some of them were beautiful, huge birds, that were just disregarded like no big deal.”

Since the grim discovery was made, Valgardson has posted photos of the birds to social media, where reactions have ranged from shock to skepticism. While she hadn’t heard any gunshots near the farm recently, she’s since been getting tips from other area residents about recent activity.

She also believes the birds were dumped where they were found.

“This was not the original spot where all the birds were shot,” said Valgardson. “They were brought there, and dumped off. It’s what the tragic thing is, they just left them there, and tried to cover them up.”

Valgardson believes the actions of those who dumped the birds give other hunters a bad name, while disrespecting area landowners and the animals who were shot. She indicated the act was not something a “true hunter” would do.

“It’s just a blatant disregard for the animals, and landowners, just to be going out there and dumping your garbage, your animals, whatever you have. This is not the first time we’ve found something.”

Fish and Wildlife is now investigating the incident. Lethbridge News Now affiliate, CHAT News Today, had reached out to their media line for further information.

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