Gun enthusiasts have left a mess of animal parts

Kootenay gun enthusiasts leave mess on Rialto

Gun enthusiasts have left a mess of animal parts, discarded bullet casings, and garbage a little past the two kilometre mark on Rialto Rd.

A little past the two kilometre mark on Rialto Rd., on the left-hand side, is what looks like a gun range crossed with a garbage dump.

This isn’t the rifle and pistol range run by the Castlegar and District Wildlife Association and the Castlegar Pistol Club, which is much earlier up the road. This is something else.

This is piles of trash riddled with bullet holes, extending from the side of the road into a field and then up into the hills and trees. This is hundreds of bullet casings, of various shape and colour, discarded all over the ground.

Near the side of the road is what looks like a fire pit (one of many) and thrown on top, but not burned, are various animal parts, including a deer’s head wrapped in a plastic bag. One of its legs lies nearby and various scraps of its hide.

Sgt. Tobe Sprado from the conservation office in Castlegar says that this type of dumping is illegal.

“Under the Environmental Management Act there is a littering provision that people aren’t supposed to dump waste into the environment, right? Unless they have a permit or approval of some kind,” says Sprado.

He says it’s not uncommon for hunters to leave animal parts in the field where they can be scavenged, but “dumping plastic bags with deer heads in them would be prohibited under that legislation.”

But to charge someone under the act there needs to be a witness to the dumping who can alert the conservation officers.

“If nobody actually sees it happening, and we have no witness that can give a license plate number to be able to identify the dumper, there’s very little that we can do from an enforcement point of view,” said Sprado.

The area falls into Electoral Area J of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), but it’s unclear if it’s on Crown land or land that’s privately owned. There were no private property signs posted.

The RDCK was contacted for comment, but had not replied by press time.