Conservation officers in Watson Lake are seeking more information after moose meat was found abandoned near the community.
The meat was found packed in a large plastic tub at the old sawmill site located beside the Watson Lake waste facility. According to a public notice from Yukon Conservation Officer Services, officers found a moose’s hindquarter and backbone with the pelvis still attached. The notice says that much of the usable meat including the back-strap and tenderloin were left attached.
The meat was wrapped in garbage bags and officers also found a Meyerco brand butcher knife set at the scene.
|Conservation officers are seeking more information from the public about moose meat dumped near Watson Lake. A set of butchering knives was left with the meat. (Courtesy/Yukon Department of Environment)|
Conservation officers believe the meat and other items were discarded on or around April 29.
Logan Donovan, a Watson Lake conservation officer, said the investigation has not confirmed whether the animal was harvested recently or if the meat had been frozen. The notice from the conservation officers says the meat was found in good condition.
Donovan said that meat discarded in this way is something the conservation officers deal with frequently.
The public notice states that it is against the law to waste the meat from a harvested animal. The kind of wastage seen in the dumping of the moose meat also creates a public safety risk by possibly attracting wildlife to the area.
Donovan said there are other options available to people besides dumping meat in a hazardous and wasteful manner. The Department of Environment runs a meat donation program which allows meat, which might have gone to waste otherwise, to be passed on to elders, hospital programs, First Nations and those in need. Meat donations can be arranged by calling the Department of Environment’s client services number at 867-667-5652.
In order to help people make the most of the meat they harvest, the Department of Environment offers meat packaging and processing workshops as part of their hunter education series. According to a department spokesperson the workshops run four times per year in a normal, non-COVID year.
Anonymous information can be provided by calling the Turn In Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) line at 1-800-661-0525.