After facing fierce opposition from anti-hunters and Vancouver’s Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, the inaugural beaver hunting derby held in Saskatchewan was a massive success.
Registering over 23,000 pounds of beaver, the derby, which took place between April 1 to May 10, brought in a total of 589 beavers when it was all said and done.
The derby, the first of its kind in a number of years, was administered by Ryan Demchynski after noticing a big problem with over population of the fur-bearing mammals in Saskatchewan. In addition to trapping the beavers, Demchynski wanted to use the derby as an educational program, teaching hunters and trappers how to effectively utilize as much as the animal as possible.
“What I see with the beaver control program is lots of guys are just killing the beaver and cutting the tail off and leaving the beaver to rot. And I don’t like to see the waste and that’s why I decided to start up the derby,” Demchynski told CBC News.
The Saskatchewan Trappers Association backed up the derby and its organizers because of educational aspect of the hunting competition.
“I’ve seen a number of beavers left in the field to rot,” said the association’s vice-president Ken Gartner. “We don’t want to see that happen anymore.”
The Ministry of the Environment in the province of Saskatchewan has also shown its support for the derby, but has said it plans to review the derby to ensure both sides of the debate are satisfied.
“We understand that this isn’t universally accepted so we are going to re-visit the issue over the winter,” said Brad Tokaruk, regulation specialist with the Ministry of Environment. “This individual derby worked with the existing government sponsored beaver control program. It actually enabled a number of those animals to be salvaged,” Tokaruk said.
H/T: CBC News
Image: 2016 Beaver Derby Facebook Page