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Disturbing find: Shuswap family seeking Christmas tree locates several animal carcasses

Black bear, a coyote and five deer found dumped in gravel pit west of Salmon Arm

A Shuswap family was out searching for their Christmas tree near Salmon Arm when they happened upon a disturbing sight.

Constance Bailey said she and her family stopped in at a gravel pit just off Skimikin Road and quickly spotted several dead animals.

In all, five dead deer, a coyote and a young black bear could be seen. Photos taken by Bailey show the carcasses in various states, ranging from dismembered and covered in snow to largely intact.

One of the bucks’ antlers appeared to have been sawed off where they met the skull.

“As hunters, we were kinda sickened that the antlers were sawed off and the animals body’s left to rot in the open – it really wasn’t a good sight,” Bailey said.

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Bailey expressed concern about the carcasses attracting other animals to the area which is used for recreation and near the Skimikin dump.

Vernon-based Conservation Officer Tanner Beck said reports of dead animals are common on all forest service roads close to communities in the area he covers. In most cases, he said the dumped carcasses are a result of hunters disposing of harvest waste. Beck said the Skimikin location is a road maintenance pit so it is likely the animals could be roadkill which was dumped there.

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According to Beck, the regulations governing where animal carcasses can be dumped specify they should not lead to dangerous wildlife being attracted to nearby residences or private properties.

“Ideally we prefer people do this on more remote locations, but the path of least resistance is usually taken,” he said.

Beck added that it does not appear the RAPP line was contacted about the dumped carcasses.

A similar scattering of dumped animal carcasses was found in the same area in Nov. 2018. At the time, Conservation Officer Mike Richardson told the Observer the way the animals were dumped constituted an offence under the Wildlife Act.

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Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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