Accidental catch sets off trapping debate


My condolences to the Cassell family of Smiths Falls on the loss of their beloved family pet this past weekend, to a conibear trap set on a neighbour’s property. 

Stacey Cassell was walking his three dogs on December 31st when 11-year old Mishka took off for a jaunt and disappeared for a few minutes. When his dog didn’t return, Cassell went looking for it only to discover the animal caught with a conibear trap around its neck. 

The Cassell’s are saddened by the death of their beloved pet and outraged that the neighbour never told them he had coyote traps on the property. 

This is the second trapping incident in recent days, as conibear traps were also discovered set some distance off the path in an Aylmer Park area. 

These incidents are unfortunate on several levels. Being a pet owner and animal lover myself, I too would be devastated to find my family poach in the jaws of a trap meant for fur-bearers. 

These incidents, in my opinion, also demonstrate how desperate we have become to control predators in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. 

Obviously these trappers had no intention of catching family pets, or had they purposely set traps in areas with the goal of harming children, as some have implied. But it did happen and they do hold some responsibly to be more careful.

There is a bigger picture to all this….

The fur industry has (sadly) been on shaky ground for years and bad press such as this is just one more nail in the coffin. The truth of the matter is, however, that now more than ever before, we need trappers and we need the fur industry to stay alive. 

I know it will be a hard sell to those who have been have been adversely affected by the fur industry like the Cassell family, but the community needs to realize that we have a huge underlying problem here; one which needs to be addressed. 

It may not be as evident to those folks who have never ‘strolled the back 40′ but we have a predator population which is simply out of control. I’ve even heard stories about local hunters who harvested a deer and before they get to it, the coyotes have completely ravished it! 

And I have seen it myself first hand. 

As many of you already know, this time last year I had between 10 – 15 whitetail deer visiting my backyard deer feeder on a daily basis. You may have seen the stories and photos posted here on the Outdoors Guy. These deer have been residents of a property where no hunting is allowed, and we have been watching them for years. 

Yes, believe it or not, I am an avid hunter who takes pride in winter deer management and the welfare of nature’s most beautiful animal, and not because I hunt them. I love to photograph and observe these wonderful creatures. Most hunters I know are the same way. 

Through my backyard deer feeding, I am also teaching my children to appreciate nature and expose them to aspects of life they may not necessarily get in school. 

Ok, so ask me how many deer I have coming to my feeder now? 

Not a Goddamn one, and would you like to know why?? 

Over the past couple of months, the only creatures to show up my ‘feeder cam’ have been the neighbour’s cat and these large dog-like beasts with grey coloured fur! 

My daughter and I even took a little stroll in the back woods this weekend to see how severe the coyote problem really was, and it didn’t take long to figure things out.

The properly was littered with coyote tracks and trails, and I found hair-filled scat all over the place. My heart sank!! 

In a small forest where I know for a fact that nearly 20 deer normally spend the winter, I found but one lonely set of deer tracks. 

What does this have to do with family pets getting caught in traps you ask?

As concerned conservationists, we are looking for ways – any way at all – to control a burgeoning predator population. Residents need to realize that once our deer are all gone; these marauding brush wolves still need to eat.  So what’s next?


Next it will be our family pets, or worse our children. I may sound paranoid to some but the statistics are there – coyotes have and will attack people and the problem will only get worse if we can’t get their numbers under control. 

Since hunting coyotes is frowned upon in this city, as we have seen the response to the Osgoode coyote cull, I ask you how else besides trapping can we control the yote numbers in this region?

Contrary to popular belief, the eastern coyote does target big-game. In many cases, the whitetail deer will make up much of their diet.

Yes, family pets getting accidentally caught in traps meant for predators is a terrible and unfortunate thing, please don’t get me wrong, but unless we do something soon the future of all our pets may be in jeopardy! 

And this weekend when my daughter commented during our nature walk about all the dog tracks she was seeing, I didn’t have the heart to tell her what was really going on.


68 thoughts on “Accidental catch sets off trapping debate”

  1. this guy should stay off private property, keep his dogs off private property, obey the law and stop whinning

  2. I being a pet owner say this with mixed emotions. THATS WHY WE HAVE LEASH LAWS and thats what invisible fence is for . if the traps were on the land owners proporty and the dog tresspassed sorry, but i do feel for the family that really lost a family member ,

  3. the dog and owner were on private property, the dog was off the leash, and the private property was owned by the trapper, case closed

    1. Yes, we do realize the dog owner was on a neighbouring property when it happened, but I’m sure it doesn’t make the loss of your pet any easier..I don’t believe any blame has been cast on the landowner, except they wished he had told them there were traps around..

      It’s a really tough situation, and I know we would all be a lot happier now of a coyote had ended up in that trap instead.

      As far as I’m concerned, it all goes back to an out of control predator population…how did it get this bad?? I’m sure a few of us could provide some answers, unfortunately, public opinion and the perception of trapping as a ‘bad and evil’ activity is one of the biggest hurdles we face!


  4. I feel for the Cassel family as well and for the landowner who is now under attack. It’s sad to lose a family pet in any situation, but in a trap would be a horrible picture that Mr. Cassel won’t ever forget.

    But I think Jeff’s point is well made – the traps may not have been there to regulate some coyotes, but even still, we need the trappers to help us sort out the coyote population.

    I shot a doe with a crossbow late Friday. I had a good shot on her. Lots of blood. She bedded down a few times, but kept getting up. I’m sure it was a 1 lung shot or I nicked the liver. It was hard to tell because we decided to let her go to sleep and never wake up.

    I wanted to go back out at 10 PM, but it would have been by myself and after speaking with a farmer to get permission to walk on his land to find the deer, I decided not to go out and wait until morning.

    Why? Because he said there tons of coyotes around.

    And guess what? They got to my doe. Over half of her was gone. She wasn’t more than 80 yards than we decided to leave her be.

    I hope in one way, that Mr. Cassell reads this thread, or at least understands he’s completely wrong when he says that coyotes don’t take down big game animals. Sure, this one was wounded, but we’re talking packs of coyotes and not only are they getting bigger than the traditional coyotes b/c they’ve been breeding with wolves (as is the heavy rumour), their numbers are huge. There was a big pile of fur where the ‘yotes no doubt first hit the doe, then I could easily see the struggling tracks and then her carcass where she was brought down.

    Everywhere along that path, was TONS of coyote tracks. There wasn’t 1 or 2 who took this doe down.

    Personally, I know what I’ll be hunting in a few weeks and next month and frankly, I think we hunters should band together and have a huge coyote hunting weekend. Find a chunk of land with permission from the landowners and get down to business.

    The farmer said it best, “I used to see a coyote and they’d take off like I was shooting at them. Now, they stand and look at me….sometimes even start to come towards me”

    I don’t know about you, but that’s not a good sign.

  5. Certainly an unfortunate situation. In the end it does come down to control of your pet but I think if the trappers land is not fenced, it may have been a nice courtesy for him to inform the neighbors that there are few traps set for coyotes on his property and to take care if they are out there. I am pretty sure that the dogs walking would have been a regular occurrence and the trapper would likely know that they are out there on occasion, but maybe I’m assuming too much. I saw an animal the other night in a field between Smyth Rd and Pleasant Park Rd across from the General Hospital as I was walking back to my car (was brining dinner to my wife who was working the overnight shift). I couldn’t tell if it was a Coyote or a Fox mainly because a) it was almost midnight b) it seemed to be too tall for a fox but was rather slender. I tried to stock it for a bit to get a better look but he had a beat on me from well before I noticed him and took off into a brush area that I wasn’t going into. Scary to think they could potentially be inside the city again. Heck, the coyote with no tail last year was in the park where I normally run my dog. Too close for comfort.

  6. I agree with iggy’s comment. The trapper could have posted some signs nailed to trees to inform tresspassers, but that requires the purchase of proper signs, and how many depending on the size of the properties. Then there is the situation of tresspassers seeing the potential signs and wanting to maybe steel the traps or set them off or PETA people being informed and making a fuss about traps and the danger to pets and children.

    When young, I walked our two labrador dogs on crown land, to have one of the dogs shot by a local who swore to shot all black dogs, since a neighbourgs black dogt had been eating his chickens. Our dog was shot 1 mile away from his property. Nothing for a youngster finding his dog still breathing its last breath laying on the ground with the blood woshing out of all the holes in (explosive bullet). Although me and my parents found and confroted the individual with the police present, nothing we could do since the individual was poor.

    We gave a proper burial to the dog. The other one (the female’s brother) had seen her die, and was not the same afterwards, being lonelly.

    But we were not tresspassing. The individual went hunting for the neighbourg’s dog which was loose and mistook ours for it.

  7. Keebler, I would be interested in trying to slim the population. It’s obvious that a hard winter or two is not the only reason for the low population of deer. I say this not because I do hunt deer but like Jeff and yourself, I love to see them in the field and love seeing a fawn with her mother. It would be a shame to not be able to see this in our backyard of Eastern Ontario.

  8. Sure Mark. We just need to gather some landowners and get permission than maybe surround a chunk of land, hope they’re in there and game on 🙂

    Using radios and cell phones will help us tag team them.

    I’m with – i’m not up for senseless murder, but their population is out of control.

    To any possible animal activists reading this, if you think I’m making this up, you’re wrong and it’s easy to tell b/c the MNR doesn’t even have a tag system NOR ANY LIMIT for them in Eastern Ontario.

    That right there, tells us their population is an issue.

  9. That is a sad situation and I feel for both men – but it happened and every time something like this happens there is fallout to be dealt with, right or wrong. I’m with you on the coyote thing though.

    A few years) back my old uncle shot a couple of “brush wolves” and left them where they dropped for me to get rid of:). I remember thinking at the time that those were some small wolves, although that’s exactly what they looked like. I had only seen/heard timber wolves up to that point.

    Now I live near Dacre and I hear coyotes/wolves almost nightly when I step on to the porch for a smoke. Some nights they’re running over towards Mt. St. Patrick, some nights back towards Dacre and sometimes they sound like they’re right behind the house between Hwy 132 and Sammon Rd. This is strange to me – I’ve lived/hunted/fished in the area my whole life and had seen exactly three wolves before my 50th birthday. Now these new varmints are everywhere it seems – I sure hope somebody is trapping them because I don’t really know of anybody hunting them around here.

  10. Hi Bob, I hunt up near Dacre and last year(2009) one of our guys shot two deer in one chase, one dropped and the other kept on going over a wide creek, before we could get over the creek, the wolves were on that deer and ripped it to pieces. not a very happy lot of hunters.

    To clarify what I said about the dog killed in the trap. I understand what it’s like to lose a dog, a member of your family. I have a Lab and have had Beagles, so I know, however, that guy mouthing off to the press is what pisses me off. He should have been a man and said it was his fault, because it was. He should have had permission to walk his dog there, and YES it IS our responsibility to know if we are on private or crown land. OUR RESPONSIBILITY!
    sad that he lost his dog too, but look in the mirror before you start blaming everyone else

  11. Unlike Jeff, I don’t believe in attracting deer to my rural Ottawa property by putting out food for them when it is plentiful in nature. The deer are a welcome sight from my windows when they do happen by, and I have posted “No Hunting” signs to give them respite from human predators. This year there are more deer in my woods than ever before – a large stag and several does. Yesterday I walked all over my 25 acres and deer tracks were everywhere. I could hear at least two breaking through the ice in the bushes of the swamp. I also found some wolf/coyote scat at the edge of the swamp. It was filled with fine white hairs, so had obviously dined on rabbit. A partridge exploded out of a tree overhead. On an earlier walk in the snow I also encountered wild turkey and fox and rabbit and squirrel and cat and mice tracks. Today driving home from the City I saw a porcupine in a tree on Lester Drive, and evicted one earlier in the winter from my woodshed. I do have a wild bird feeder in front of my living room window that is a winter dining spot for chickadees, sparrows, woodpeckers, bluejays, cardinals, and yesterday for a flock of goldfinches. Nature is alive and well in the forests and swamps in the wild areas of Osgoode Township!

    I hear the coyotes howling some nights, but no more so than usual. I’m skeptical of claims that they are the cause of the apparent decline in deer numbers this year. Animal populations go through cyclic fluctuations that are as old as the symbiotic relationship between deer and wolves. These animals lived together for 100,000s of years without the need for humans to “regulate” their numbers.

    I suspect human activity is the major stress on wildlife. Pollution induced global warming is causing unusual weather extremes, increased spreading of Ottawa’s pathogenic and toxic sewage sludge on local farmland (doubling to 45,000 tonnes this year) is causing widespread pathogen and chemical contamination of soil and water, mega dumps and Orgaworld’s composting facility and sewage spreading are causing greatly increased truck traffic on rural roads, and the spread of country estate lots and other sub-divisions and industries are cutting up the greenspaces that deer and coyotes and turkeys and other wildlife range through. Interesting that wildlife is flourishing in the evacuated lands that have regrown as forest around the Chernobyl reactor. The logical conclusion is that the presence of human beings is far more toxic to wildlife than nuclear radiation! Something to think about before mindlessly rushing out to slaughter coyotes, eh?

    1. Sorry Jim just to let you know, I never attracted the deer to ‘my rural Ottawa property’, they were here already..long before I got here, and up until this past spring I hadn’t seen a single coyote track. Now the back woods are polluted with coyote tracks..and all the deer are gone.

      It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out what happened….I know we had the debate last winter regarding the merits of deer feeding, but I can assure you the scant little feed the deer received at my place had no negative impact on them health-wise.

      I will tell you what has had an a negative impact on them, however, is what I estimate to be a pack of 6-8 brush wolves which, up until this past year, were not there. And so far, from what I see they have killed would they could get and pushed the rest out of the area!

      So there’s your cyclical population downturn…you must be happy now, at least, Im no longer feeding deer. There are no more left!


  12. Speaking of traps what ever happened with that wacko who removed the beaver traps last year?

    Signage is great but far too often it leads to vandalism or theft.

  13. If I owned the land, and I was trapping on it, I wouldn’t put up signs
    that’s just what you’d want Peta out to protest because they saw the signs
    I guess in an indirect warped kind of way you can blame the death of this dog
    on PETA


    and trespassers too

  14. I am a trapper and a farmer. I trap my own land and an Uncles place too. I have land where in is in close proximity to house with kids and dogs. I don’t set traps there. I set them far away from houses and roads. My neighbours know I trap but that doesn’t stop them from walking all over my land even after numerous times telling them I have traps set in the bush where they like to travel. They let their dog run free and up to now have been lucky. But the day will come when their dog doesn’t come home. They still sneak in and think they are getting away with something. I have given up telling the kids and their parents to stay off my land not because I am an ogre but because I don’t want them or their animals hurt or worse. Like most people they feel they are intitled. Why should I stop them from enjoying the bush when I have so much land? People have no respect for anyone elses land! Step on their property and there will be hell to pay though.

  15. The problem is, most people do not expect to see traps in a populated area. If you are neighbors in a rural area, you know what the neighbors do and you trasspass at your own risk. But, you can not set traps to harm tresspassers…so you better make sure they are obvious and out of the beating path to avoid a lawsuit or worse harming someone else. There is a two way respect. Also, what’s the difference between loving wolves vs loving deers… you can’t claim to love wildlif without loving both. Part of wildlife is hunting…teach your kids about the tracks and tell them the wolves killed the deers…it may keep them out of the forest looking for deer and cute dogs.

  16. Jim i too live in osgoode township and in the last two years have lost goats, ducks, geese and chickens. I have pictures of one goat that i had to shoot because my son interrupted a coyote taking her down in the barnyard in middle of day. Now i have lost the odd animals in the last 18 years here mostly to coons the odd fox etc… and i’m glad the coyotes only howl occasionaly around you but i’m a fool smoker and step outside more often than most. All this too say is the coyote population is out of control when they are in your yard at mid day and roamming around the barn, and that they are howling at back here MOST nights. I don’t believe we are talking about a slaughter here Jim, but as hunters we are talking about putting more effort in controlling out of control predator. I also own some property in Lanark area and find the population has really increased there also. It is unfortunate about the Cassell’s dog,but also feel for the neighbor for he did nothing wrong, but I would hope that he informed them that he had traps out. I know that it is his property etc.. but to me it’s just the neighborly thing to do that’s all.
    Got an open reed howler in my stocking this Christmas and called in at least 3 yotes last friday late afternoon. Never had the chance to blow on it once before( was still in package) but they had been howling and yipping about half hour before so we decided to go out have a go at them. it work well even if your not that good at it!

    1. McDan, you mean to say you haven’t seen ‘Jim’s EcoPod’ down your way?

      Oh, it’s a wonderful place where all of God’s creatures live together in perfect harmony… I’m pretty sure there’s a fence around it or some sort of large bubble…

      Sorry Jim, I couldn’t resist


  17. My sincerest condolences to the Cassell family.

    Having said that I revert to the age old saying. “Never be afraid to admit you’re wrong, it means you’re smarter today than you were yesterday”.

    I’m hopeful that this never happens to the Cassell family again.

    For the record Conibear style traps are not used to harvest coyotes. These were likely set for raccoons or Fisher.

    Did I say Fisher ? You think the coyotes and raccoons are menacing just wait til the Fisher population goes off the rails. When they do Jeff I can assure you that there won’t be that neighbours cat eating your deer feed.

    I feel for the land owner / trapper.

    As for the moron who stole the traps in Oshawa, Mr Snedden…..Rumor has it his trial is on the 10th of Jan in Oshawa court…..

  18. I read further and learned that this dog owner was in fact trespassing and his dog off the leash. As Iggy said……Enough said.

    The trap was what is commony refered to as a “bucket set” which was set at least a foot off the ground in a thick brush. A classic set for racoon or Fisher. Apparently the land owner authorized the trapper to trap Fisher on his property as he was experiencing the loss of several barn cats………

    1. Ok, I hadnt realized it was a fisher set…please disregard all that coyote stuff…I guess I needed to vent.

      Trapper, I was reading how some guys are using the bucket-style set with conis for coyotes now..and do catch the occasional one..prob juveniles mostly.

      I did notice some fisher tracks in the back too..but for some reason, Ive never perceived them to be the threat that coyotes are…I guess my cat owner neighbours should be more concerned!


  19. I don’t think fishers eating a few cats is that big a problem, but don’t leave your babies in a basket on the front porch

  20. Jeff, the yote problem will only get worse. What is needed is for hunters to be willing to take down some yotes while out deer hunting or bear or moose hunting. I was talking to a group of guys who were pissed at seeing very few deer this year but a number of yotes. So i asked did you shoot any? None of them shot one because they said the scent of the yote would keep the deer from going by there again. And one said they did not have a tag, to which i responded (If a yote falls in the bush does it make a sound). What we should have is a registry that land owners with yote problems can sign up hunters to help with the problem. As for the person walking there dog,if they had of got permmision to go on that land the owner might have mentioned that he had traps out and to keep his dog on a leash. But then again Joe public thinks they can trespass where ever they like. We had a family with 3 young kids decide to take a walk on our posted private property in the middle of the gun deer season and were very put out when we gave them crap.

  21. Jeff, I live in the natural world. Most of my land is unfenced and continuous with the limestone forest along the height of land that marks the western side of the Ottawa Valley fault line. The animals that I see here are the same animals that are everywhere throughout the Ottawa Valley. I don’t feed deer or other wild animals (exception – my son has me feeding two stray cats, and I admit to a bird feeder 🙂 Anyway my point is that when you set up a deer feeding station because you like to watch deer, you are training those deer to stay near your feeding station instead of moving about, as they do in the wild state.

    The deer on my property are usually only around for a few days. Then they leave and the wolves/coyotes show up. Then the coyotes leave and the deer are back. I’ve yet to find a deer killed by coyotes, but I’ve watched coyotes jumping on the snow to catch mice, and they are presently eating rabbits (hares to be precise, though the animals are more likely to think of themselves as waboose, which is the aboriginal name they have gone by for 1000s of years!) What I’m trying to say is that when you disrupt the ages old deer/wolf shuffle by attracting deer to hang around one feeding station, you upset the balance because they become sitting ducks for their natural predators.

    Mcdan, how did a coyote get into a barnyard to kill your goat? I had 30 Toggenburg dairy goats for 10 years, and never lost any to a predator. Goats are escape artists, and fencing for goats sure wouldn’t let a dog or coyote in! Again, if you have a pet goat that hangs around the yard or one that is tethered in an open area, it is a sitting duck for stray dogs or coyotes. Sheep or goat farmers need good fences, and farmers need to put livestock in a secure barn at night. I also raised chickens for both eggs and meat, and pigs, and the occasional lamb and calf, without losing any to predators. There have always been wolves and foxes and skunks and porcupines about, one year we even had a wolf den back in the woods, and I met the two silver cubs in my laneway driving in one night.

    I gave up on shooting wildlife years ago, now we recognize each other’s right to co-exist! Sure porcupines are grumpy, and fishers are downright nasty in disposition. But if you stand up to them and assert your right to life, liberty, and to share the territory without intending them any harm, they leave you alone and go about their business. There can always be the odd rogue or rabid animal that won’t respect you, and I do still have a gun, but I haven’t had any need to use it in years. I’m just saying that life is peaceful in my neck of the woods, and maybe if people elsewhere had more respect for wildlife and took better precautions to protect livestock and pets, these so-called “problems” would greatly diminish, if not disappear altogether. This isn’t about “them” and “us”, we are all one in this life.

  22. Good for you Jim, I’m proud of you and I respect you for doing things the way you want, now not everyone would agree with you but I truly believe that you have the right to do it your way, but so do other people have that same right. I get sick and tired of people wanting freedom, but everyone else should do it their way. The compound bow hunters acting like they are better than the cross bow hunters, the bow hunters acting like they are better than the gun hunters, the vegetarians acting like they are superior to the normal people. Who cares, you do it your way, I’ll do it mine
    you don’t mind coons ripping off your siding, porky’s killing your trees, fishers eating every grouse, songbird, rabbit and turkey on your property, good, but don’t tell other landowners how they should respond.
    BTW, coyotes do take down deer, they took one down not 15 yards from my tree stand where I bow hunt and within 24 hours there was only a skeleton left. Small spike buck

  23. didn’t the government change the rules where you now need to buy a tag for a coyote or wolf, and you can only get two per year, and isn’t about that time that the coyote population exploded???????

  24. Only a small game license is required for Coyote/wolf in WMUs 43-45 and 59-95, other WMU’s require a seal.
    I just renewed my SG license, was out last weekend and will be out this weekend. I always liked hunting and fishing in the same day.

  25. I’m going to camp in about two and a half weeks, and I’m thinking of bringing along a rifle, to fish and hunt in the same day, but I’m in 58, so I need a special license, is it good for the full year? Or is it one of these trick licenses like they have for turkeys, to get you to pay twice
    All this is dependent on my new Outdoors Card arriving

    1. Iggy, when you go to hunt camp take so photos and I prommmiiissssee to post them this time!! (So long as you keep the file size down)

      Our friend ‘Maple’ just got back from Quinte..holy gawd, you should see the size of walleye they caught!

      Im hoping he lets me post the story of their ‘day on the bay’


  26. AS far as I know the license is good for the year, the season is split in the seal reguired WMUs.
    You also have to fill out a questionnaire, even if you do not hunt. I think this was covered in a earlier Blog.
    The fellow who purchased a moose tag and did not go Moose hunting recieved a visit form the MNR.

  27. That right there is the problem … these two incidents weren’t really in a populated area, they were in a rural area that city folk moved to to get away from it all. They are like a duck out of water, they don’t belong there. They don’t know that trapping and hunting still happens, they don’t know how to handle the dangerous animals (or they’d never let their dog off the leash, the dog is more likely to be taken by a coyote than a trap … only 5 dogs out of how many traps out this year ? … and tons more have been lost to coyotes) … quite honestly, the romanticism of rural life is what they want, not the reality.

    Hell, people admit that people don’t understand the country since people are saying not to let dogs off leash, despite it being dangerous and illegal.

    So city folks: please stay in the city, we don’t want you out here.

  28. Jim that was my point i do realize that some losses are expected,maybe i didn’t state that. But as i said it has gotten a lot worse in last couple years Jim, because of coyotes. when you start seeing them in yard in the middle of the day there is a problem. How did coyotes get in barn yard you ask? I do believe they walked but i can’t be sure, i just know they ran when they left. I hope that answers question. As far as goat proof fence they don’t exist same as coyote proof fence. I locked up my layers at night but were free range during day, same with geese, ducks. Like i said ,some losses are expected i do not have a problem with that. I put in a garden every year Jim and some years the bad bugs are really bad. so according to you i should just leave them be and take over the garden because that’s nature. with that mindset we would be a mighty hungry people. like i did for sure state was that nobody here was calling for a slaughter and getting rid of every coyote in sight,but like the earwigs or slugs in your garden get them under control.

    1. McDan, this brings up the age old battle between conservation and preservation..what Jim(& most animal rights people) subscribe to is preservation..where we basically let nature be and it works itself out..

      Conservation, on the other hand, is desribed as the `wise use and management of our renewable natural resources in order to benefit the most people for the longest period of time`

      Im sorry, but Conservation does imply that `we`are at the top of the food chain..some have difficulty with that concept…and no, it does not mean we kill everything in sight..we just try to achieve a fine balance.


  29. QUOTE: “most animal rights people) subscribe to is preservation..where we basically let nature be and it works itself out..

    Conservation, on the other hand, is desribed as the `wise use and management of our renewable natural resources in order to benefit the most people for the longest period of time` it does not mean we kill everything in sight..we just try to achieve a fine balance.”

    Well said Jeff, BRAVO ! With your permission can I quote you (with all due credit of course….)

    1. Let ‘er rip Trapper…but it wasn’t really me who came up with it…you can thank the SSFC – Fish & Wildlife Biology program for that one!


  30. The moderation police must profile a name with content even a submission that is 85 % quotes of Jeff is subject to moderation

    1. Trapper, you realize that 97.8% of all statistics are made up on the spot…

      (Trust me, its not you…its just your words)


  31. Iggy, thanks for recognizing that I am not telling other people what to think or do here, just trying to share my thoughts and experience, which happen to be different from the prevailing mindset of Jeff and most people writing here. I take the time to comment because humans learn by talking to people who think differently. Unfortunately our brains are hardwired to seek out like-minded company and avoid those who are different – it’s called cognitive dissonance.

    Mcdan, I see by your answer that your barnyard does not have a fence around it. I know good fences work, and they are not difficult or expensive to build. I used galvanized mesh fencing that you can buy at the Co-op. I picked up a lot of mine for free at the local rural dump (used steel fencing also makes great reinforcing wire, which I used in making the free form cement walls for my round goat-barn). Unroll it between posts spaced 8 feet apart, and weave a fence wire through the top and bottom, pull the whole mesh tight and staple or wire it to the posts. The mesh is 4 feet high. Start it at the ground to prevent anything going under. Add additional wires at 6 inch intervals above the mesh to raise the height to 4’6″ or 5 feet . You can run an electric top wire if you’ve got a problem with animals climbing over – I did this to successfully keep our cat out of the chicken coop! As for seeing coyotes or wolves in the daytime, this is about as rare as seeing deer in my 40 years living here. I have both deer and wolf tracks in the unfenced yard around my house and laneway. I’ve also had the neighbours escaped bull pass through my yard. And five years ago a partridge crashed through my living room window like a cannon ball – but hey, I’m not calling for a cull on bulls and partridge!

    As for nuisance wildlife, I did resort to shooting the 13 groundhogs who moved into the piles of earth before they were bulldozed while building our house. More recently one moved into our front flower bed, and I just put the hose down the hole and turned it on. Sure enough a very wet groundhog decided to move on! Same hose worked for a large rat digging similar accomodations. A skunk under some stuff on the front porch found the presence of a battery toy with flashing lights and siren circling beside him too much for comfort, and also moved on. And a very large porcupine sashayed out of the woodshed after I firmly explained he could not stay there. I intercepted him heading back to the shed to munch on the barn boards again a few days later and told him off again, He gave a loud grunt and hasn’t been back since. And the two fishers that were running alongside me in the bushes snarling loudly gave up and left when I stood my ground and told them this was my woods, and they had to respect my space to be here.

    And Jeff, I am not opposed to trapping, hunting and fishing, and I do eat meat. I believe in respectful co-existence with wildlife, not in humans “managing” it. That’s…

    1. Jim, I too respect the fact that you have your own views and opinions..and that you enjoy a ‘peaceful co-existence’. Hey, I invite you to comment here anytime!

      But I do have one question for you.

      If we humans do not manage our natural resources, who will?


  32. thanks Dr Jim for looking into what makes me tick. Your right though, I don’t think we could be left in the same room alone. I find one .22 bullet taking care of a skunk or racoon or groundhog is much cheaper and more green than gallons and gallons of water
    BTW, is taking stuff from a dump considered green, or is it stealing, just wondering, cause I’ll bet I could find a top of copper at the dumps and resell it, they would reuse it then, that’s green, and I’d make money

  33. Actualy Jim i was being sarcastic about coyotes just walking in, and thanks for the fence tips but i believe you missed or chose to ingnore my points. I give.

  34. Yes Jeff well said (quoted) for sure. We are at the top of the food chain and i don’t think we should be ashamed of that. It is what it is (for now)LOL I just think some people get the wrong impression of what we are saying here.
    I really like THE RIGHT TO COEXIST stuff from tree huggers though. like i said previously by planting a garden you determine what grows where, pull weeds out ,keep most bugs away, keep critters out,a little like what we were talking about i think. By having a patch of lawn, same thing. raising animals whether for meat ,dairy, wool, same thing. Most farms have barn cats to control rodent population in barns, same.

  35. Iggy, green water is that colour because of the green algae blooming in it, which is due to all the excess phosphorus running into the surface waters from the farmers fields where sewage sludge is being spread. The sludge is applied at a rate of 10 tonnes per acre to use all the nitrogen in it to fertilize corn. At that rate there is 3 to 4 times more phosphorus than the plants can use.

    Deer and wild turkeys and Canada Geese are all eating the corn bits dropped into the 10% of sludge that doesn’t get turned under when disking, so they are ingesting pathogenic sh_t that is 40% unknown chemical wastes! No research has been done to see if this is affecting the health of people eating wildlife. That’s something I worry about, particularly for the Inuit and other Northern First Nations, because Canada Geese are a staple of their diet for two months every Spring.

    The sewage is also full of diseases, the Ottawa Citizen reported a government lab doing research on the prion sheep disease scrapies, released infectious prions into sewage. I looked into this and found the sludge was spread on farmland around me. I have an ultraviolet light and an osmosis filter on my well water, but prions are tiny protein molecules that aren’t affected by UV and pass right through the finest filters. Pathogenic and toxic sewage being spread all over the countryside on farmland is a far greater threat to humans and animals than coyotes could ever be, but nobody talks about real sh-t, because we don’t want to think about it!

    My well water is rusty brown and smells of sulphur. It never used to be, but with all the quarrying and recycling sites and dumps and composting plants the entire aquifer is becoming contaminated. Wake up folks, coyotes are the least of our worries for those of us who live in the country and see the harm cheap and dirty sewage and garbage disposal is doing to our health, our environment, our quality of life, and our property values! The MOE is now preparing legislation to allow sewage sludge to be composted with city Green Bin collections. Coming soon to a field near you.

    And in reply to your question Jeff, Mother Nature has been “managing” life successfully for the last 2 billion years! Do you really think humans, let alone government bureaucrats, can do a better job? How do you explain the fact that despite all the regulations, human activity is causing the extinction of thousands of species? Check out the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico! The effects of that continuing oil spill is far from over, and we can look forward to worse spills from drilling off Newfoundland and in the Arctic. Meanwhile the animal populations are being upset by global warming due in part to human pollution of the atmosphere causing fluctuations in their food and altering their habitat. Most wild animals are not a threat to us, but if they are acting overly aggressive or appear sick, by all means put them down and get them autopsied…

    1. Jim said “the Ottawa Citizen reported a government lab doing research…”

      Sorry Jim, now you’ve lost all credibility…lol…I am actually somewhat surprised you’re even over here.


  36. Jim your statement “And in reply to your question Jeff, Mother Nature has been “managing” life successfully for the last 2 billion years!” begs the question. What about all the mass extinction events over those 2 billion years. Mother Nature has caused orders of magnitude more extinction than man ever has. We are part of nature.

    As far as man accelerating extinction ask the dinosaurs about that. LOL

    Your concerns about pollution and disposal of waste is well reasoned and should be a major concern for all of us.

  37. Rick, I wasn’t referring to the effects of meteor impacts and ice ages, and intercontinental drift causing earthquakes and volcanoes as Mother Nature – I’m referring to the evolutionary process that gives rise to and sustains life in between such planet scale catastrophic events. Yes, that evolutionary process has formed our human species, but we are relatively recent arrivals on the scene, and are very much an invasive species that is causing wide-spread disruption and destruction of the other living beings we share the planet with. Despite what politicians and industrial tycoons and religious leaders say, we are not gods, and if we continue to destroy the eco-system that supports all life with our polluting ways we will hit a tipping point that leads to our extinction. I look at the antibiotic resistant superbugs being created in the Pickard Sewage Plant’s anaerobic digesters and suspect there is a link between the Fall outbreaks of these illnesses in our hospitals and the fact they coincide with the aerial spreading of sewage after harvest on our farmland. So far nobody will report or investigate this, why? If I was a religious person I’d say we are preparing the way for the Plague Horseman of the Apocalypse by eating and drinking our own contaminated sewage!

    For the record Jeff, I stopped reading the Ottawa Citizen after the article on the government lab spill. That’s because the Citizen reported there was no threat to people or animals from the scrapie prions. When I phoned the lab and spoke to the Director he said he had been assured by City staff that all their workers were protected from pathogens in sewage at the treatment plant. I asked if he knew that all the sewage had been concentrated in biosolids and spread on farmland. “No” he replied. “Does that change your opinion it will cause no harm?” I asked. “It might!” he said. So I contacted the Citizen and asked them to correct the false statement of safety they had issued. They refused because “the people of Ottawa don’t know that their sewage is being spread on agricultural land, and we would have to prepare them with an in-depth article first.” It’s been years since that incident and no article! The population is mushroom managed by the media spin industry, kept in the dark and literally fed sh_t! And this new year will see Ottawa take the lead over other cities in Ontario by being the first to spread the entire year’s supply of sh-t on local farmland, a doubling of last years amount to 45,000 tonnes. Then there’s the potential 150,000 tonnes of suspect “organic waste” from the new Orgaworld composting facility that they are in court demanding to be allowed to put dirty diapers and human waste in, and that can have 999 e-coli and 1 salmonella in the finished compost with no thought of pathogen regrowth, no warnings on the bags, and no regulations on use. Think about what you’re stepping in next time you cross a farm field!

    1. Oooohhh, that’s great material on the competition, Jim, I’m really glad I mentioned it now…one would think in a case such as that, a follow-up article would have been in order?

      I assume by your comments that you have a strong background in Environmental Science…did I ever tell you I briefly held the position of Pollution Prevention Co-ordinator with Environment Canada…not that I like to brag or anything….hehe


  38. Evolution is a wonderful thing. Just like we (humans) are evolving, so to are coyotes. Jim better wake up and smell the roses! Long gone are the days of coyotes being scared of people, or stricly nocturnal creatures. As their habitat gets turned into houses and highrises, they are finding it harder and harder to find food and become desperate.

    I used to live in rural Nepean, wthin spitting distance of Barrhaven. I remember having coyotes walk right up to the barnyard in the middle of the day. Unfortunately for them, my gun was usually close by, and more than one met it’s fate. I also remember a night when my landlord lost 8 dairy calves after they were chased out of the yard, and onto rail tracks. The fence and gate didn’t matter. Once the coyotes got into the yard, probably by jumping the fence, they panicked the cattle so bad that they bent the gate right off the hinges. 8 calves will not stop a train by the way.

    I routinely see coyotes in Ottawa. Just the other day I saw one in the large soyabean field next to the Queensway coming from Kanata by Moodie Dr. I’ve seen them on Conroy Rd by the old train yard. I called the city of Ottawa to report that one. I’ve seen them along Greenbank Rd.

    It used to be that they were solitary animals, or a mating pair. I was in a treestand last fall, and just as it was getting light, I had 5 or 6 of them stroll by me. Just enough light to see their forms, but not light enough to shoot. They are EVOLVING into pack animals. Sure, one or two coyotes are no match for a mature deer, but get a bunch of them together, and a deer doesn’t stand a chance. I’ve seen their handywork first hand. On a property I hunt, a year and a half old buck learned the hard way that they do hunt deer. All that was left the next day was a hide and the head. Mother Nature does a good job of keeping things in check, but once in a while she needs a helping hand.

  39. Ontario government can break its own laws – Winter 2011

    In October 2010, Peaceful Parks discovered the Legislation Act. … e.htm#BK83

    It outlines the proper procedure and requirements when writing new legislation. It came into force in 2006 under the McGuinty government and was last amended in 2009.

    Hidden deep within its pages in section 71, is a short clause entitled “Crown not bound, exception”.

    It reads as follows:

    “71. No Act or regulation binds Her Majesty or affects Her Majesty’s rights or prerogatives unless it expressly states an intention to do so. 2006, c. 21, Sched. F, s. 71.”

    At first reading, the meaning of the clause was difficult to comprehend. It seemed impossible that a government would exempt itself, and all federal agencies, from its own laws. But that is exactly the purpose of section 71.

    We made a simple enquiry to Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffery asking whether the minister had given authorization to the Hamilton Port Authority to destroy Double-crested Cormorant eggs and nests in Hamilton Harbour.

    It is illegal under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act – section 7. (1) to (3) – to destroy nests and eggs of a wild bird, including cormorants, without prior ministerial authorization.

    Minister Jeffery confirmed that she issued no such authorization but provided no explanation. Upon further questioning, the minister’s office quoted section 71 of the Legislation Act as the rationale for issuing no authorization to the Hamilton Port Authority.

    We attempted to confirm our interpretation of section 71 of the ‘Act” with the minister’s office but they provided no comment.

    Section 71 was applied to override the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. It is unknown how section 71 of the Legislation Act is applied in other areas of the law or civil society.

    Coyote Killing Contests

    Last winter several sport hunting outfitters organized coyote killing contests across Ontario. These hunting contests were defacto coyote bounties and are illegal under Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

    Section 11 (1) of the Act reads:

    11. (1) Except with the authorization of the Minister, a person shall not,

    (a) hunt for hire, gain or the expectation of gain;

    (b) hire, employ or induce another person to hunt for gain;

    (c) trap for hire, gain or the expectation of gain;

    (d) hire, employ or induce another person to trap for gain; or

    (e) pay or accept a bounty.

    Despite the public rhetoric by the McGuinty government defending coyotes and standing firm against a formal coyote bounty, it quietly approved coyote killing contests by choosing not to enforce section 11(1) of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. No charges were laid against organizers even though the killing contests were well advertised.

    The Peaceful Parks now questions whether their decision…

  40. oh don’t worry sureshot dave, Jim is wide away, and just smelt a rose

    and Chessy, not only do they stand against a formal bounty, they have now limited it to two coyotes per year per hunter and no party hunting and each license costs money, from unlimited hunting on the small game license, seems like they are going the opposite way

  41. Iggy I believe the two tag limit is only for wolves and only in areas around Algonquin Park.

    There is no season or bag limit on coyotes.

    Fisher traps should never be set in such a way as to catch dogs. They should be set at least 4 feet high. Fishers and coons can climb.

    Another scenario to consider Iggy where you say the dog should be leashed. Say you are rabbit hunting with beagles. You have permission to hunt the property but on the next property Mr. Trapper has his sets out. As part of the sets for fishers nice smelly lures are used. Dog catches the scent and as dogs do investigates. Dog sees nice yellow sign saying traps in area be careful but dog can’t read. Dog gets caught in trap and dies. Whose fault is it?

    The dog for trespassing? The hunter for allowing his dog to run free? The trapper for legally trapping his property?

    Sometimes sh*t happens!

  42. Trapper can you elaborate -” Short answer…. the hunter”?

    Are you saying hunters can not let dogs run free in hunting situations such as bird dogs, coon dogs, deer hounds, rabbit hounds, coyote hounds and bear hounds? What about sporting dog competitions?

    I hope I am correct about the placement of Fisher and coon traps – I am a licensed trapper!

  43. I’ll check the regs, but I thought it was wolves and yotes, and it’s a lot bigger area than “just around Algonquin Park”
    As far as another scenario with dogs, I have permission to hunt on someone’s property, not someone else’s, and he has the right to trap on his property, if my dog strays, it’s MY fault, not the trapper. See the difference, I’d stand up and ADMIT it was MY fault. Not everything in the world that is bad is someone elses fault, sometimes it’s your own fault, and you can be sure I wouldn’t be running to the newspapers blaming a trapper that was trapping on his own land while I was trespassing on it.

  44. Before 1980, the law governing occupiers’ liability was complex and discouraged people from allowing recreational use of their land. The Occupiers’ Liability Act established a basic “duty of care” that an occupier owes to the users of his/her property. It also sets out when this basic “duty of care” does not apply.
    The standard measurement of the basic “duty of care” is what a reasonable person would do under the circumstances. For example, while it may be reasonable for a farmer to not erect fences around his land, it would be unreasonable for a construction company not to erect a fence around an excavation site in a city or town.

    The basic “duty of care” does not apply to all situations. Exemptions include;
    people who enter for criminal purposes are considered to have assumed all risks; however, this does not give you the right to set traps or create hazards,
    entrants to rural property who do not have permission to enter (trespassers) are responsible for their own safety,
    nonpaying entrants to rural property are responsible for their own safety when using rural property for permitted recreational purposes, or
    people who know the risks and choose to accept responsibility for their injury when they enter the premises; for example the spectators at a hockey game know they risk being hit by a puck flying into the stands and they accept this risk when they purchase a ticket.

  45. (d) Dogs and Hunting/Fishing

    While hunting or fishing on private land is of course generally prohibited without the land “occupier’s” [typically the resident owner or tenant] permission [FWCA s.10(1)], the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, s.10(5) further reads:
    A person shall not, for the purpose of hunting or fishing, enter or permit a dog to enter land on which any crop is growing or standing without the express permission of the occupier.
    This express prohibition renders such dog ‘crop’ trespass an FWCA offence, but the absence of any similar provision respecting non-crop lands suggests that situation remains a civil trespass matter only. I have not explored that issue in any further detail.

    Further, while not necessarily a trespass issue, readers should note that the FWCA Hunting and Trapping Regulations contain numerous further limitations and licensing requirements on the use of dogs.

    (e) Summary

    As much as a farmer may be angered by stray dogs harassing their livetock, they must take great care before embarking on a self-help remedy, as they are at risk of so committing a criminal offence. Prudence would dictate non-lethal measures, recourse to local small animal control authorities, and/or civil remedies.

    ANYONE facing such a situation is well-advised to videotape or at least photograph the situation thoroughly [if you do not have a camera handy, find the nearest twelve-year old with a cell phone camera].

  46. Rick,

    The two tag Limit covers MWU..#54 Right down as far as WMU..#56 and it also includes Yotes.

    Now the Wolf & Yote Tag system Limit is a vast area it ranges from Wilberforce area North of Haliburton all the way
    Down to Norland, Ontario and as far over Buckhorn, Bobcageon & Peterbourough if I’m not mistaken?.

    Now to give ya a better perspective as to how vast an area that is, take Hwy 60 like you where heading to Algonquin Park, Go past Hwy 35 and head to the First gate the leads into Algonquin Park, Head back to Hwy35 take Hwy35 south to Norland, Ontario Turn Left at the lights In Norland and you’ll be on Monk Rd. take it all the way into Kinmount, Ontario and Hwy 121 And you have just some of the areas that you need a Tag to hunt Yotes & wolves.

    I live in Area 60 on a farm just off Monk Rd. between Norland & Kinmount and I don’t need to pay for any tags to hunt Wolves or Yotes as yet? and I expect that WMU area too will soon be subject to the tag system if Mr. Masquinty and the OFAH have it there way, Everything north of Hwy 35 & Monk Rd. all the way into Kinmount, Ontario falls in WMU56 witch also includes Anson, Hindon & Minden areas.

  47. the tags stem from the anti hunting tree huggers wanting to protect some species of wolf that they claim is special, it was the perfect opportunity to make money on tags, and keep the antis happy. They won another one!

  48. Two of our house dogs left the yard and went to the farmer’s field next door. The little dog got caught in a trap baited with rabbit scent that was set to catch the numerous coyote in our area. The bigger dog attacked her and lucky for us I heard the commotion and we were able to get the dog free of the trap and the other dog. A couple of days at the vets and some TLC and she is fine now. Had I not gone outside when I did there would have been a sad end to this story.
    The trapper had come to our home to tell us that he had put the traps out but we were away at the time and he forgot to call back. Not his fault. To this day I don’t know if the farmer down the road knows of the event. We didn’t tell him. Not his fault either. My dogs were on his land where he has the rights and we don’t. Simple as that. We were at fault and our dog nearly paid with her life.

  49. Lee,

    Thats why in areas where there are people so close by, I prefer leg hold traps to snares. While they are smarts, they don’t break bones on larger animals like dogs. And they have been tested in accordance with her majesty bull fighting, bull running, seal shooting and wasting EU. In Ontario it is law to check them at least daily.

    Snares are good if the owner is nearby, they are pretty simple to remove, and most dogs, being trained on leashes don’t struggle enough to set the lock. After that it is just a matter of loosening off the wire and walking away.

    Most important in all these cases that made it to the news, the owner was breaking the law by letting their dogs loose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *