The Wildlife and Disease Association at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine focuses primarily on educating students about the opportunities in wildlife health fields, connecting students to mentors in wildlife health professions and enhancing the skills of our students through lectures, workshops, conferences and field trips. On February 24th, 2019, The WDA sent twelve of its members on a field trip to the Waskesiu area to spend the day dog sledding, snowshoeing and having a wildlife tour with Sundogs Excursions. The excursions were ran by a long-term resident of the area, a biologist and a dog sled expert. Students learnt about attaching dogs to sleds, basic aspects of the sport and the husbandry of the dogs including nutrition and housing. They then got to experience an hour-long trek on the sled through the boreal forest in northern Saskatchewan.
In addition, the students had the chance to spend time snowshoeing through the surrounding area and learned about the ecology of the boreal forest. This was an enriching and educational experience, especially for a group of individuals that have a keen interest in wildlife medicine and the outdoors. It was an amazing day for our members to get to appreciate the beauty of the natural environment around the Waskesiu area. The Sundogs Excursions site runs on a no trace ethics philosophy ensuring the wilderness aesthetic is maintained. We ensured that our members followed the same philosophy while we were there and that the social and natural environment were not disturbed by our presence.