Hunter opens fire on golf course, kills 2 geese in HVGB

Golfers at the Amaruk Golf Club in Happy Valley-Goose Bay came up against a surprise hazard on the green Friday when a hunter opened fire and killed two geese.

Wildlife enforcement is looking for a hunter who shot and killed two geese at the Amaruk Golf Club in Happy Valley-Goose Bay as golfers played the course Friday morning. 

Sheldon Anstey, acting chief of enforcement for the fish and wildlife enforcement division, said there were five geese on the course when a hunter opened fire. Three geese flew away.

"There may have been golfers who were not able to see down in the woods looking for a ball or what have you," said Anstey.

He said this may have been a case of an opportunistic hunter passing by. He said often game can be difficult to hunt, and this may have been an 'easy kill.'

"We suspect the person observed the geese on land or saw them standing up on the golf course and took the opportunity to take some shots."

Anstey said the firearm was a shotgun, the legally required firearm to shoot migratory birds.

He said more than one shot was fired, but could not confirm how many golfers were on the course at the time or their whereabouts at the time.

No charges laid

No charges have been laid, but the division is looking for more information about the incident.

Anstey said fines of up to $500 could be laid, and the hunter could be charged with the careless discharge of firearm. He said it's illegal to discharge any firearm regardless of type less than 300 metres of a dwelling, or less than 1000 metres from an athletic field, which includes golf courses.

"In fairness to the hunter he may think they're safe, and not shooting actually towards housing or buildings, but in around communities and industrial areas, there are people playing in the woods, even though they may not be pointing the firearm at the house, they are still a risk to the public."

Towns spreading into old hunting grounds

He went on to say this activity appears to be on the rise.

"I guess towns and municipalities and cities are developing and spreading into rural areas, there are places people traditionally hunted, but have now become illegal."