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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 27, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 1173 THE IfTHVRIDOe IB A day in the life of a Pish and Wildlife field of- ficer can be a long one. Last Monday was one of those days with the opening of the cow elk season overlapping the existing deer seasons. Syl Pompu from the Fish and Wildlife office in Lethbridge left before 7 a.m. to help officers Bernie Arnold and Murray Busch from Claresholm patrol the Porcupine Hills area. At the Claresholm the three officers clustered around a map of the Porcupine Hills Forest Reserve as Mr. Arnold pointed out the area each would cover. need I Mr. Busch told Mr. Pompu. know you'll need The officers were to-check hunter's make sure they weren't carrying loaded rifles in their vehicles and enforce other game laws. Toward three roadblocks would be set up to check-kills as hunters left the area. should finish up before Mr. Arnold said. glad it's going to be a short Mr. Busch said. Two weeks he and Mr. Arnold had sat out in the forest waiting for someone to return to a moose that had been shot. sat on that moose all night and all Mr. Busch said. was sure hoping the guy would come Investigating illegal kills is just one of the tasks of a wildlife officer. Sometimes the area will be staked and the lawbreaking hunter will be nabbed as he returns to pick up the meat. That's the easy way. the area must be combed for evidence such as matchbooks or cigarette packages that will indicate an identity. Sometimes hunters will get careless and leave a jacket or some other personal article in the area. Then witnesses have to be found and inter- and statements checked. If a trial is in- the prosecuting officer must prepare the case for court. The road into the hills led up through the low- lying and the grey day was suddenly a Hi-j-rlinir hliia anH whilo Hnar frnst as vet un- disturbed by the clung to weeds and fences. Barbed wire looked like thick white ropes strung between the posts. it a beautiful commented Mr. Busch. this job has its own like being outdoors all the time. They say a person who is happy with his work never gets happy with my he sometimes after 20 hours in the my bed sure looks Murray Busch grew up in took a two-year resources technology course at the University of Saskatchewan in and started working for Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division in June of this year. His education- qualified him for a number of but he feels lie made a good choice. Two hunters stood on the edge of the searching the valley with field glasses for signs of game. Mr. Busch stopped the truck and got out to inspect licences. The hunters were from Enchant they hadn't yet sighted any elk. you see send them our one told Mr. Busch as the officer got back in the truck. he said with a grin. He wrote some figures on a form on his clip- board. keep a record of the number of hunters we where they are from and what they have he explained. At the junction of the Beaver Creek and Sharpies Creek roads the two officers stopped their pickups to put tire chains on. To the the hills gave way to a panoramic view of the Livingstone Range. The view was wasted on of- ficers Busch and as they struggled to wrap the frozen chains around the tires. The need for chains was evident soon after the two officers Mr. Pompu to the Mr. Busch to the northwest. Mr. Busch guided the half-ton up a'narrow trail that was snow- covered and deeply rutted. we had a he said. guy really shouldn't come up here without a four- wheel drive But just a few yards farther a '64 Chev sedan was parked under the trees. Mr. Busch shook his head. un- he said. chap.must be an enthusiastic hunter to put his car through torture like Several he had to back up for another run at particularly rough places in the road. The truck's two-way radio was freuqently busy. In addition to wildlife the band is used by parks supervisors and other govern- ment personnel. Some of the parks people were helping the Fish and Wildlife officers patrol the area. They would also assist in the evening roadblocks. Mr. Busch as would some RCMP officers. Frank regional Fish and Wildlife officer and the man in charge in the Lethbridge was flying above the area in a Cessna 180. sure are a lot of hunters he told his officers. be a hundred vehicles up Yarrow The high pressure area that day was in the Pincher Creek and Mr. Somerville deployed one officer out of the Por- cupine Hills to go assist officers farther south. From his Mr. Somerville sighted a dead and an officer went to investigate. It was a legal and the hunter returned to dress it put. The radio reported seven hunters had killed four elk on a ranch without asking permission .from the landowner. An officer went to investigate and charged the men with probably got to keep 'Mr. Busch speculated. Another hunter wasn't so lucky. Syl Pompu radioed a man in his area had shot an tagged it and then returned to find someone had stolen the animal. The officers were told to watch for an elk with signs of a tag being removed. A group of men around a pickup were sighting in 3 rifle. Mr. Busch checked their licences and ;