Alberta farmer says someone shot his pregnant bison 'just for the thrill of killing it'
'There was no attempt to remove any meat from her,' says Robert Hampton
When Robert Hampton spotted his pregnant bison lying out in the pasture all by herself on Saturday, he said he "knew there was something wrong."
The creature, which was pregnant and still rearing a five-month-old calf, was dead.
"I went down and picked her up and when I moved her I could see a little bit of blood coming out of her stomach area, and so I skinned her out to see — and sure enough, there was a bullet hole all the way through," Hampton told As It Happens guest host Megan Williams.
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The bison was worth $5,000, he estimates, and the calf would have fetched between $2,000 and $2,500. Hampton said he believes she had another five to 10 years calving ahead of her.
He runs a small farm in Blueberry Mountain outside Spirit River, Alta. — about 100 bison for meat and breeding — and the financial hit will be hard, he said.
'It would have taken her a long time to die'
But it's not the money he's mad about.
"What upset me the most, I guess, is the fact they didn't do a killing shot on her," he said. "They shot her in behind her lungs through her stomach and it would have taken her a long time to die."
He said he doesn't think hunters or poachers are to blame.
"There was no attempt to remove any meat from her," he said. "They're just after the thrill of killing the bison, I guess."
RCMP in Spirit River are investigating.
Moose shot last week
Hampton linked the bison killing to two moose that were illegally shot in nearby Moonshine Lake Provincial Park last week.
Nobody attempted to recover those carcasses for meat or trophies either, My Grande Prairie Now reports.
Mounties say there is "nothing finite" to connect the two incidents at the moment.
Asked who would do such a thing, Hampton chuckled.
"I've got all kinds of names for them," he said. "But honestly I don't know what kind of mentality it would take to kill an animal just for the thrill of killing it."
Written by Sheena Goodyear. Produced by Sarah Jackson.