Editor, Please allow me space to comment on the current moose vendetta apparently afoot in this province.
Moose are categorized as wild, dumb animals. These creatures have a right to feed, breed and roam free. They are not to blame.
Humans, on the other hand, are rational beings with brains capable of making intelligent decisions. Regarding vehicle/moose collisions on our highways and by-ways, as it is for children, the onus is on us to avoid them.
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder exactly who the dumb ones are.
It is easy to blame nature. Nature makes no response, offers no defence. It quietly suffers the consequences of decisions adopted and enforced by humans.
I am reminded of the conflict with seals. People, including former fisheries minister, John Efford once proclaimed, “The seals destroyed the cod. It was not us. They are to blame. Burn them all!”
Entertain the fact that seals and cod co-existed in perfect harmony for eons prior to man’s interventions with the inventions of side trawler up to and including factory freezer trawlers coupled with age old unadulterated greed affixed firmly to an insatiable need to catch as much as is inhumanly possible as quickly as possible.
I predict that with the present day pressures placed on the moose populations they may soon meet the same ends as the northern cod, the great Auk and the Beothuk.
The highest moose populated area of this province is the Great Northern Peninsula. Yet, very few moose-vehicle accidents occur because residents are acutely aware of the dangers and adjust their driving habits accordingly.
Those bewitching hours at dusk, in the pre-dawn and during the night, especially when it is raining, are the most dangerous. To avoid encounters with moose, if at all possible, don’t travel during these periods. If you must commute ensure the windshield and headlights are clean. Place whatever you need close at hand. Leave early. Allow plenty of time. Avoid distractions. Turn off the tunes. Drive slowly and stay alert. Remember, it is better to arrive late than as the late.
When travelling the TCH drive in the passing lane. Animals tend to appear from the shoulder of the highway and driving the centre lane offers extra room for manoeuverability. Remember, to miss by a hair is all that is required.
Semi-trucks criss-cross the island constantly. If the opportunity arises, tag along behind at a safe distance and your ‘front door’ will clear the road for you.
Moose are responsible for the most memorable and rewarding hunting adventures within this province and they will be sorely missed when all that remains are memories, stories, pictures and videos. It is easy to blame nature. Easy to declare war against a creature that cannot know that a war against them is waging.
Sometimes, I am ashamed to be human.
Michael J. Dwyer