By Andy Labdon
Rogue hunting has always been in the background, according to Kelby Kostival, who has seen it in multiple ways. But never has Kostival seen such disregard for the sport when he read the article Bloody Hunters (Wadena News, Oct. 14, 2019. See full article below).
“It’s embarrassing for me to see that after I have been coming up here for 20 years,” said Kostival, an American hunter from Ohio.
“It is also disgusting, and I will post that article on all the hunting forums I can find when I return to Ohio,” he promised.
Kostival first came to Wadena to hunt in 1998 and has since purchased a house in Kuroki and made a lot of friends.
“I’ve met and am friends with John Daviduk, friends with the Madarash family, friends with the Sowa family, the Bindigs, Dean at Co-op meats, and Tuon at T&T, and I know Reg Glennie and Randy Woolrich,” said Kostival.
“I have met several people in this area who have influenced me, and John Daviduk is one; I only hunt ducks and geese, favouring the former, and also have a special interest in making meats and sausage. John and I make sausage and meats here, and we smoke them in his smoker,” explained Kostival.
Kostival said he thinks the sport is under fire anyway and with the antics of a few bad apples brings the whole of hunting sport into disrepute.
“I see it with the younger generation; it’s more about the killing rather than spending time in a community and enjoying a day out hunting, no matter the result,” he said.
One of the reasons Kostival returns to this area year after year is there is no better place to hunt.
“There is a great camaraderie, no fast food, which is great, and no cell service, which is great because I can escape,” he laughs.
“Hunting has always had an undercurrent of bad behaviour though, I remember back in the late 1990s and early 2000, it was like the Wild West here with the dumping of a lot of birds and overkilling. Since then, things have improved a great deal, and it’s both sad and disgusting to see something like that happen here,” he said.
After his hunting trip is over, Kostival returns home to Ohio, where invariably, the stories of his hunting vacation are retold over the dinner table. Those tales of excellent ethical hunting and good friends have inspired his son to want to travel to Kuroki and meet his friends and go hunting.
Previously published Oct. 14, 2019
By Andy Labdon
Francis Weber was infuriated at the sight of a bloodied trailer parked on Main Street in Wadena last week. The trailer belonged to a group of American hunters who had used the blood of their kills to daub graffiti on the trailer. Weber then walked right into the cafe and told the group of hunters what he thought, them came straight to the News office with the photos.
“It’s not like it used to be, the old-timers who would come here year after year are disappearing and being replaced by guys who want to kill. It’s not hunting like it used to be,” local outfitter Randy Woolrich told the News, after hearing about the episode downtown.
Woolrich has been in the outfitting business for 30 plus years, and every season is booked solid, so he knows a thing or two about the changes in attitudes.
“It used to be that most hunters enjoyed the experience of just being here, and it didn’t matter whether they reached their daily limit.”
Reasons for changing attitudes is the loss of the relationship between visiting hunters and the people of Wadena.
“The town of Wadena is also losing income due to the lack of accommodation,” said Woolrich. “Hunters hunting in the Wadena area now book accommodation in Foam Lake, Wynyard and Humboldt and therefore are losing the connection and relationship with people in the Wadena area.”
“It was different when we had the Atrium and Blue Willow motels; hunters would mix with the community, build relationships, and hunt in the same field year after year.”
The consensus talking to those in the know is the minority that bring hunting in disrepute is growing, and with a lack of ethics, landowners suffer, and so does the game, and so do professional, ethical hunters.
Woolrich is old school when it comes to hunting, ensuring that nothing is left behind and that respect is given to the landowner’s property is high on his agenda.
“It’s farmer’s first, hunting second. Without farming, we wouldn’t have the game. I make sure all the shells are picked up, we wash our vehicles, and I carry a spray bottle to clean and disinfect the tires of vehicles, so I don’t spread unwanted weeds. If a bird is winged, we track it down; we don’t leave anything injured for the coyotes. If we have a surplus of birds, we process them and give them away to those in need.”
The News also spoke to some farmers who said that they did not want hunters around when they were busy harvesting and also reported that some hunters are ‘pushy’ when to comes to asking for permission to hunt. Others said countless calls or interruptions during their working day, asking for permission to hunt. The constant haranguing has led to some farmers posting their land No Hunting.
The concept of ethical hunting has been around for some time and it is important that all hunters have an understanding of its principles and practise these when in the field.
There are three main parts to ethical hunting, knowing and respecting the game: understanding the game and their habitat, and treating them fairly and with respect.
Obeying the laws and regulations that have been introduced to ensure that hunting is conducted in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner. Behaving in the right manner as it has a direct impact on public opinion. Disrespectful actions will impact on the future of hunting.