Maple Ridge trapper shoots down wolf-dog

Maple Ridge trapper Al Starkey shot the wolf-dog that had been scaring people on Bownen Island for weeks.

Maple Ridge trapper Al Starkey shot the wolf-dog that had been scaring people on Bownen Island for weeks.

It took three weeks to get a permit to hunt the beast of Bowen Island.

But it took only one day to bag the culprit, two quick shots to the head early last Wednesday.

Maple Ridge trapper Al Starkey (Trapper Al, he’s called) shot the wolf-dog that’s been scaring people on the island for weeks.

Starkey baited an area the animal was known to be in with coyote and wolf lure, then covered the whole area with castor scent, and spread around the remains of a deer the animal had previously killed.

Then he waited.

“She actually snuck up on me. I didn’t see her and I was watching all the time, but the grass is quite long and by god, she got that close to me before I saw her in a 10-acre field.”

The animal was about 33 metres away when Starkey fired.

“It worked out real well. I had her by six in the morning. I sat out for her before daylight and we had her right off the bat.”

Starkey used a .22 rifle and got her in the head, first shot. “I shot her right through the brain. She fell over and that was it, no suffering, nothing happened there.”

Residents were happy with the news. The wolf-dog had becoming increasingly fearless and was getting close to people’s homes. People were scared to go for walks or let their kids or dogs outside because the animal was feasting on deer, goslings and “dogs and cats galore.”

A previous attempt at trapping the animal in a cage didn’t work, but Starkey knew that wouldn’t work.

“You can’t get a coyote or wolf in a cage, that’s impossible.

“Everybody I talked to was really happy. I did a good deed for the people.”

Starkey said there was no doubt the animal was part wolf and dog, brought there by someone on the island, then released when he or she couldn’t handle it anymore. He’s never seen wolves this far south.

“To see him, he looks exactly like a wolf.

“I’d say it’s even more wolf than a dog.”

The animal was a female about three years old and well fed. “It’s very big and it’s got an awfully large head. It’s been killing so much stuff over there.”

Starkey was afraid the animal would soon start attacking children. The beast recently killed a swan and didn’t even eat it.

“She was just killing for fun. She wasn’t even hungry any more.”