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Farmer feels violated by killing of bison

A Blueberry Mountain farmer believes whoever killed two moose in Moonshine Lake Provincial Park may be responsible for shooting one of his bison. Robert Hampton found the female dead on one of his quarter-sections Saturday morning.

He says he couldn’t tell how she had died right away, but further inspection revealed a bullet wound. The Spirit River RCMP was called and Hampton says they responded right away.

“The bullet had gone all the way through her so there was no recovery of that. I spent a few hours with the RCMP Saturday morning looking for bullet casings or any evidence and there was very, very little to go on.”

Hampton suspects the shooter didn’t even leave their vehicle, comparing it to the killing of the two moose in the provincial park near his property. In those cases on October 10th and 11th, both carcasses were left behind.

“I’m a hunter myself and I know this wasn’t a hunter,” says Hampton. “I would never give that label to somebody who’s stupid enough to do this.”

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Hampton’s farm is home to about 100 bison, which he argues is small enough that his family knows each animal. Hampton says the killing feels like a personal violation.

“I grew up here; this is my family farm, so everything is very dear to me. It’s almost like they walked into our house and stole $10,000 from us. It’s a personal violation and the waste of meat really gets me upset.”

It’s estimated the animal could have been sold for $5,000, but because it was a cow who had already been bred, Hampton says her loss represents sales of anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 for her future calves over the next decade.

Hampton shared his story on Facebook, and the post has since been shared nearly 10,000 times. He hopes that whoever is responsible feels guilty, and doesn’t needlessly kill another animal.

“I would love somebody to say, ‘hey, I know who that was,’ and phone the RCMP and they get the due process.”

Sergeant Ryan Frost says the Spirit River RCMP detachment is investigating and no arrest has been made.

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