Keep your eyes peeled for little ghouls and goblins

The Stettler RCMP is cautioning residents to keep their eyes peeled when out and about this Oct. 31, as trick-or-treaters flood the streets.

The Stettler RCMP is cautioning residents to keep their eyes peeled when out and about this Saturday, Oct. 31, as trick-or-treaters flood the street in costume, looking to fill their goodie bags for another year.

With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, Stettler RCMP Cpl. Cameron Russell said he expects traffic, both foot and vehicular, will increase.

“Be mindful of others,” he said. “Not just drivers watching for kids, but kids watching for vehicles, too.”

He recommends trick-or-treaters go out in groups, and add reflective elements to their costumes to help them be visible to drivers. Reflective tape or flashing lights are all ways trick-or-treaters can make themselves more visible in the dark, as is not having black costumes.

He said parents should check all candy before allowing kids to consume their sugary loot, checking for signs of tampering.

Russell said that while he’s never had problems emerging from accidents on Halloween in Stettler, he has in other communities where he’s served, though in this case it was an impaired driver leaving a Halloween party and didn’t involve trick-or-treaters.

It serves as a reminder to those having a bit of adult Halloween cheer to be careful and make sure they have a way to get home that doesn’t involve getting behind the wheel if alcohol is involved, he said.

Erskine action under wraps — for nowRussell confirmed there was some sort of police action south of Erskine last week, though couldn’t comment beyond that, except to say, “There was no danger to the public at any time.”

He said that the police action was initiated at a level above him in the RCMP and he cannot comment on it, but information would be forthcoming from the RCMP in the near future.

Hunting season upon usHunting season for birds has been well underway, but starting next week, deer hunting season opens, Russell said. Now is a good time to remind both hunters and members of the community of the fact, he added.

He said rural community members shouldn’t be alarmed to hear the occasional gunshot as hunters hunt, though anything remarkably unusual should still be reported to police.

Hunters are reminded to respect the property rights of landowners, else they could be facing a $287 trespassing charge.

“Don’t assume you have permission from the landowner if you have in the past,” he said. “Get permission again this year, and if it’s denied, don’t go on the property.”

The only time it is allowable to go on property where permission hasn’t been granted is if the hunter wounds an animal, but does not kill it, and it runs away.

“You’re bound by the wildlife act to do everything possible to recover that animal,” Russell said. “You don’t chase it right away, as a wounded animal will usually escape and go lie down. You should have time to go and talk to the landowner.”

If the landowner refuses permission, it’s a good idea to bring in police, who can mediate the issue and, if necessary, bring in Alberta Fish and Wildlife.

Gun safety is very important, from storage to use, Russell said.

“Never assume a gun is unloaded,” he said. “Always check before manipulating it in some way.”

Wearing bright orange hunting gear is good to help others keep tabs of hunters, and not make mistakes.

And while storing guns in a locked vehicle is legal, it’s not the advisable course of action, Russell said.

“Vehicles can be stolen,” he said. If a gun owner has to store his or her gun in their vehicle, it should be well out of sight, and the ammunition stored separately.