An Alberta bison producer is hoping people will be on the lookout after someone shot and killed one of his animals.
Robert Hampton, who farms near Blueberry Mountain, Alta., found late last month that one of his pregnant bison had died from a gunshot wound. He discovered the animal lying down alone roughly nine metres from his fence line.
“When they are off by themselves, there is usually something wrong,” he said. “When I got to her, there was blood coming from her belly.”
Hampton said he skinned the wounded area and discovered the animal had been shot. He was angry, immediately phoning RCMP so they could gather evidence.
He suspects whoever shot the animal was doing it for the thrill. It appears they didn’t try to get any meat from it.
“I just got a feeling that someone is doing some senseless killing,” he said. “Three miles down the road from me, I know two moose were shot earlier this year. It’s the same scenario. The animals were just left there.”
Hampton said he hopes RCMP catch the killers, but he knows it might be hard to find them due to scarce evidence.
“It’s just so vague,” he said, adding he or RCMP could not find any shell casings on the land. No arrests have been made.
Hampton posted a photo of the kill on his Facebook page. It got a huge response from people, being shared more than 10,000 times.
“The post was a little overwhelming. I had to shut my phone off,” he said. “But it makes me feel good, knowing so many people are supporting me and producers in general. It lessens the hurt of losing a nice animal.”
He hopes whoever killed the animal saw that post and rethinks what they are doing, hopefully warding off future shootings.
“I hope they realized they went too far and wise-up,” he said. “If they do get caught, I hope the judge certainly throws the book at them.”
He also hopes people pay closer attention when they are out and about. Perhaps they can report a suspiciously parked vehicle or report someone if they hear them bragging about killing an animal recently.
“I’m hoping everyone, whether they are producers or hunters, just opens their eyes a bit more,” he said. “I really hope it doesn’t happen again.”
Anyone with information can reach Spirit River RCMP at 780-864-3525.