“Biologically, it makes no sense whatsoever… They were saying you can’t transport a hunter-killed bird across the border, when millions of birds are migrating across the border already?”— Michael Chamberlain, a professor at Louisiana State University, told reporter Chris Niskanen with the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Chamberlain was among hundreds of waterfowlers returning from Saskatchewan to the U.S. who had their ducks confiscated by federal agents at the border because of an avian flu outbreak at a province chicken farm. Customs agents destroyed as many as 4,100 birds legally and safely harvested by hunters in what is an outrageous waste of the resource.
And while customs officials finally conceded that they had misunderstood their own directives and since discontinued the confiscations, there are a lot of U.S. duck hunters who spent a lot of money to travel north to hunt and now have nothing to show for it. I wonder if the government will offer to pay for the hunter’s lost game, time, license fees and other costs?
It’s something turkey hunters considering a trip to Canada need to keep in mind as they could ultimately be faced with the same dilemma as avian flu fears continue to grow. How would you like to drop a couple grand on an outfitter, flights and licenses only to find out the government is going to take and destroy your trophy on the way home? I wouldn’t like it one bit. And the situation may not be confined to just Canada as restrictions could one day be placed on transporting game even between states as has occurred in some instances where CWD has been discovered in deer.
For more insight into the story, check out J.R. Absher’s Outdoor Newshound.