Environment Yukon says a case of wasted moose meat near Dawson City is unusual. (Black Press file)

Conservation officers probe waste of moose meat near Dawson City

Seven to nine kilos of fresh meat found with part of game bag still attached

Conservation officers are seeking information in a case of meat wastage discovered Oct. 4 in Dawson City.

The right side of a moose with between seven to nine kilograms of meat still attached was found by someone walking their dog on the old road to Dawson City’s landfill, Conservation Officer Peter Gibson said.

The meat was fresh, without the crust that forms when it is hung, but had been made unsuitable for human consumption by scavengers. The meat had been “cared for,” Gibson said, having been field-dressed and still had part of a game bag attached to it.

Gibson said the case was unusual and that there was no indication why someone would discard the meat.

“There are a number of reasons why someone might choose not to consume an animal (after hunting and butchering it),” he said. “Sometimes there are systemic infections, for example … but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.”

It was unlikely the meat had fallen out of a vehicle, as he “couldn’t see how that could happen,” and the road is unserviced, with no real reason for anyone to be down there, he said.

Under the Wildlife Act, the penalty for wasting harvested meat ranges from a ticket to a judge-appointed sentence. Gibson said he could not immediately comment on what kind of penalty would be levied in a case like this.

“I can’t speculate right off the bat,” he said. “We would want to know what the bigger picture was, why they felt they needed to discard this meat.”

Anyone with information regarding the incident is being asked to call Environment Yukon’s Turn In Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) hotline at 1-800-661-0525.

This incident comes after a Sept. 27 press release by the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun that said the First Nation was “disappointed with the lack of respect hunters have demonstrated” when harvesting moose in their traditional territory.

The statement was attached with a photograph of a harvested bull moose being carted around in what appears to be the back of a boat. The moose was not field dressed and haphazardly tossed next to a set of jerry cans, one foreleg jutting in the air.

Gibson said no similar reports have been filed with conservation officers in Dawson City.

Contact Lori Fox at lori.fox@yukon-news.com

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