Poisoned Bait in Forest Claims Unintended Victim


Alan Via and Bookah. While bushwhacking with Via in the Catskills, Bookah found and ate poisoned meat that led to her death.

People who have hiked with Alan Via in the Catskills are too many to name. But one companion stands out, his Lab Bookah.

In his book The Catskill 67: A Hiker’s Guide to the Catskill 100 Highest Peaks under 3500’, Via writes: “I watched her grow up in the woods and become one of the best bushwhackers of them all. Wherever I am in the woods she is either right next to me or orbiting within sight. Her trust allowed me to become comfortable removing porcupine quills from dogs in the woods. Boo has her own 3500 Club certificate and is the first canine and second ‘female’ to complete the Catskill 67, probably having climbed them all three or more times.”

Sadly, a March 1 report in Albany’s Times Union newspaper revealed that Bookah died while hiking in the Catskills with Via, the victim of strychnine-laced meat that someone had placed deep in the woods.

Reporter Chris Churchill writes, “Via has come to believe the meat was left by a hunter hoping to protect the deer population by killing a coyote. There’s no way to prove that, of course, but there aren’t many plausible reasons for why strychnine would be placed so deeply in the woods. Via hopes publicizing Bookah’s death can prevent a repeat of his experience.”

Via shares this story as a caution to dog owners and to those who use poisoned bait in the woods for any reason.

To the latter: poisoned bait is not only illegal, but is a reckless and inhumane endangerment of all creatures. Please stop and use your better sense.

Rest in peace, Bookah.

Click here to read Chris Churchill’s full story: http://m.timesunion.com/local/article/Churchill-Poison-doesn-t-belong-in-the-woods-5280955.php




About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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2 Responses to Poisoned Bait in Forest Claims Unintended Victim

  1. Doug Topken says:

    Wow this is really horrible. Strychnine is nasty stuff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strychnine. Going to keep a close eye on my dogs when we hike.

  2. Is this true? Where in the Catskills? Which trail?

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