New Wrinkle In Story About Canadian Supreme Court Published Last November


Published: March - 2005

There is a disturbing, new wrinkle in that story we published last November about the Canadian Supreme Court granting metis the right to hunt and fish for food in Alberta. Metis are individuals of mixed heritage mostly Indian and French. The Supreme Court decision gave them rights to hunt and fish that are equivalent to those granted to Indians that is, it allows them to pretty much hunt and fish whenever and wherever they want irrespective of season and bag limits.

The problem with that, we told you last November, is the huge pressure this is going to place on fish and game in Alberta. Not only are there a lot of metis - 500,000 by one estimate but many of them are avid and sophisticated hunters. An indeterminate number of them are trophy hunters. We predicted that a crunch was on the way unless something was done to head off this movement.

Well, the first of many problems has already surfaced. Seems an indeterminate number of metis have moved into the prime Cadomin bighorn sheep area this winter and have begun to knock down game. As this issue went to press, there were rumors that up to 18 sheep may have been taken. And hunters were said to still be in the field.

We learned of this late last month, just before the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep Convention, where a highly coveted Premier's Permit for Bighorn Sheep was slated to be auctioned. The Alberta Premier's Permit is one of the top permits in the world. It sold for $160,000 last year and $200,000 the year before. The year before that it sold for a whopping quarter-million dollars.

We immediately issued an E-Mail bulletin warning would-be bidders of this disturbing intrusion into the Cadomin area. The price of the permit this year is certain to fall. We'll have an update next month. In the meantime, we wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't warn you that uncontrolled metis hunting could ruin hunting in many parts of........(continued)

 
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