and Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News
WILLIAMSBURG — Moose hunting season has begun in South Dundas! A cow moose was seen being gutted and hauled away on County Rd. 8 near the South Dundas Landfill Site shortly after 7:30 this morning.
However, it wasn’t a bow hunter that got the Williamsburg swamp to give up this particular animal. This one strayed onto the road and was struck by a vehicle earlier in the morning. While that driver didn’t stick around, the fresh roadkill was soon after spotted in the ditch by another passersby with a cube van and an apparent taste for moose meat. He called ECS Services — formerly known as Buster’s Backhoe — and owner Eric Sneath of Williamsburg used his machine to retrieve the carcass for the roadside client.
The driver that hit the moose “likely has at least some front-end damage to his vehicle,” surmised Sneath, who confirmed that his customer quickly gutted the deceased moose while it hung from the backhoe excavator. The force of the collision “really spun the moose around” to end up in the ditch as it did, he suggested, adding the carcass otherwise appeared unwounded. He believed it may have been struck in the hindquarters.
While his firm has plenty of experience in the clean-up of road-killed deer, Sneath said it was his first time dealing with a dead moose. He added later that his father, company founder Buster Sneath, previously handled the species on only two occasions in 40 years — with both of those kills occurring on Highway 401.
United Counties of SD&G Roads Department head Ben deHaan also couldn’t recall another time a moose lost its life on a County road, “suggesting it’s a pretty rare occurrence,” he wrote in an email. “More commonly we see large farm animals killed when they get loose. In terms of statistics, I can report that we consistently spend about $20,000 per year dealing with large animal roadkills.”
deHaan also confirmed that his department wasn’t called to handle the moose that died on County Rd. 8 yesterday (not a legal requirement).
Neither was the SD&G OPP apprised of the collision by the driver of the vehicle that hit the animal, said Const. Tylor Copeland by email. The officer pointed out that reporting such collisions is required by law when damage to the involved vehicle reaches the minimum threshold. “Sometime people strike and animal but don’t think they need to report it, until they go to make an insurance claim [and] then they get sent to us [the police] to file a report,” he wrote. There is a “possibility” of charges for failing to remain at the scene of an accident, “depending on the circumstances,” he added later.
Coincidentally, according to the Ontario Hunting Regulations website, the local moose hunting season opened Oct 8 and will close in just a few short days, on Oct.14. Bow hunting is the only permitted method of taking a moose in South Dundas, which is part of Zone 65.
A Ministry of Natural Resources spokesperson confirmed that hunters successfully land a number of moose in zone 65 each season.
This article was edited to reflect confirmation that the moose involved was a roadkill and to include comments from Eric Sneath, Const. Tylor Copeland and Ben deHaan.