New Brunswick conservation officers learned this week in Moncton that one of the hazards of stumbling across marijuana grow operations in the wild are booby traps.
Const. Kevin Jones, of the RCMP's Marijuana Enforcement Team, showed them pictures of rusty steel traps, some the size of dinner plates.
"These were seized last year in New Brunswick. These ones were buried right in the soil, so if you stick your hand in to take out the plant, you’ll get more than you were expecting," Jones said.
They're just one type of booby trap that surround grow-ops throughout the province and across Canada.
RCMP Sgt. Simon Roy said the traps are meant to scare people away.
"Most times these booby traps are set up to keep people away from the grow-ops. However, in the right circumstances, somebody could certainly get hurt or killed," he said at the Moncton training session.
Dan Smith, a manager with the Department of Natural Resources, said learning how to spot traps is useful since he and his staff spends a lot of time in the woods.
He said he learned to be on the lookout for some of the telltale signs of a hidden trap.
"Things like the fishing lines, sort of being an indicator that there could be a trap there with fish hooks. That was the important part, I think, for officers that were here — some of the indicators of things that would tip you off that you're at a grow site, before you fall into the traps," Smith said.
Marijuana harvest time coincides with the moose-hunting season in September, the RCMP said, so hunters, growers and officers will all be out in the woods at the same time.
The RCMP said anyone finding a trap or grow-op should contact police right away.