EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wildlife biologist Vince Crichton provides tips on dealing with wolves in Chapleau urging common sense be used

Vince with friends at CHS reunion 2012
After the Ontario Provincial Police news release on the sighting of a wolf near a Chapleau school made the rounds on the internet, former citizens, including certified wildlife biologist Dr. Vince Crichton shared their memories on wolves within the community. 
Most did not recall any wolves wandering about the streets in the main part of Chapleau, but closer to the outskirts, there were occasions when a wolf had been seen. However, see Vivian (Edwards) Rayson's take on "wolves" in packs on Main Street.
Dr. Crichton, Vince, to all of us who know him well, who was born and raised in Chapleau, also offered some tips on dealing with the situation.
Vince noted: "I have not and I never heard of my dad having talked about it  – bears for sure.  But, this should  not surprise anyone when you look at the habitat around the outside – wolf habitat and there was at one time moose!!!– however there is another possible cause – what with the moose population down substantially thus reduced food supply they may be searching further."
Vince's father, Vince Crichton was also a wildlife biologist, and fish and wildlife supervisor with the Department of Lands and Forest/Ministry of Natural Resources at Chapleau for many years.
Dr. Crichton provided the following tips:
1. do not leave garbage outside but put out in a.m. before pickup – once they see this as a food source they will be back...
2. do not leave dog food outside – even in summer – bears love this stuff also
3. do not leave “fluffy" (your dog)  outside unattended – I have seen and hear of examples all the time of dogs being killed that were left outside
4. for those feeding them – give your head  a shake – you are part of the problem – one now, then 2 and more – those who know where this is being done should report same to OMNR or OPP – I have dealt with such issues here in Manitoba for 40 years and appreciate the problem – more problems however occur in remote communities
5.  should one of these what I will call “habituated animals” happen to be rabid then a bite to a human or a dog then we have serious concerns and expenses – I have had to deal with such scenarios here in Manitoba– one just a few years back near Thompson, Manitoba where the wolf attacked a vehicle and there are photos of it
6. by feeding, this creates a nuisance animal which then may have to be destroyed all because of human stupidity - do  not do things to entice animals to become a nuisance resulting in them having to be destroyed
He added: "Bottom line is Chapleau is in  the bush so don’t panic – use common sense and do not leave material out that will attract them.
 Give Wildlife  a break."
Bob centre, his mother Margaret on right and old friends at reunion
Robert 'Bob' Fife, CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief, who lived near the old power house on Mill Road wrote in an email: "I spotted  a wolf on Mill Road just on the outskirts of town when I was walking home one night.  I never walked so fast to get home."
Cindy Mahon, who lived at Nemegosenda Trailer Park also confirmed that she had seen a wolf in that area -- same area as Bob Fife saw one while walking home.
John Fuller who lived in Chapleau also reported that a family member has seen wolves on this road near the cemetery,
Michael Cecile, who lived at "The Point" where his father Lawless was Chief Ranger for years commented: "I've never seen one in town. I did however see one on the ice at the south end of Chartrand Lake which is about 400 m north of the 3rd Tee box on the Chapleau Golf Course."
Ian Macdonald, retired head of the department of architecture at the University of Manitoba and professor emeritus who lived on King Street wrote that" Bears were frequent visitors, occasional moose, raccoons etc. but no dances with wolves in our neighbourhood.

Henry Byce, whose home was on Aberdeen Street wrote that he had never heard of any "in town", but had seen one near Chapleau General Hospital in the Fall of 2012. "It was a husky sized black wolf in the middle of the road..."

I also never saw or heard of a wolf within the town and I lived on Grey Street for over 40 years, but one day as I was walking out to the Memegos property on the Nebskwashi River, I met a man who asked me if I had seen the auburn wolf who lived there. When I said I had not he replied, "Don't be afraid if you do. He won't hurt you." I never did see the auburn wolf or any other one.

Let's give the final comment on "wolves" in Chapleau to Vivian (Edwards) Rayson who confided that she did see them in town.

Vivian wrote: " I did see quite a few wolves in Chapleau. They usually hung around the pool room or around Desi's corner store. They were quite harmless and they did hang around in packs and they did howl. Just thought I would let you know..."

Edythe (Rose) Christie on recent library column: "I so enjoyed the article on the library. I was a faithful member when I was young and loved going into that cosy place where Mrs. Beacock presided. She would recommend books for us young people -- Jim Austin was always browsing the shelves for adventure books and of course I was racing through L.M. Montgomery. She was such and inspiration for us in that isolated northern community and so many owe our love of reading to her. Greetings from Vancouver."

Claude Fortin on curling: "Dave Futhey sent me a copy of the Chapleau Express!!! nice surprise...Your article on curling was a great read..It was nice to have seen Pat (Bamford) again after all these years...He was a great coach..and even all these years later, I am still curling, two leagues here in Esquimalt Curling Club in Victoria, BC. ..heading out in an hour to pick up our team as we are in a bonspiel at Glen Meadows, near Victoria Airport..It's a private club, like Chapleau's original one used to be..You can take your drinks on the ice in this club...lol..."
Thanks to all the contributors on wolves in Chapleau. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

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Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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