(Black Press file photo)

Conservation officers investigate four elk shot and abandoned on Vancouver Island

Leaving harvestable game meat in the field is a punishable offence

Four elk have shot and left on Vancouver Island have the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) looking to the public to help track down those responsible.

Two elk were killed and abandoned, while two others had the meat harvested. Leaving harvestable game meat in the field is a punishable offence under the Wildlife Act.

“This is quite concerning now,” says Scott Norris, sergeant with the COS on the South Island. “It’s unacceptable behaviour.”

For 30 years, a moratorium on hunting elk was in place across the province, allowing the population to rebound, and as a result, there was “very little harvesting going on,” Norris says.

RELATED: Poacher may have killed elk on Vancouver Island

Those who qualify for what is called a limited entry hunting draw are the only hunters other than local First Nations communities with agreements in place with the province, who can legally hunt elk.

“It’s frustrating for us to deal with this,” says Norris, whose officers found the carcasses in the Cowichan Valley, Campbell River and on the south end of Mesachie Lake, all within the last two months.

RELATED: 2 charged for feeding bear Tim Hortons timbits

Elk don’t run off like deer, he explains, because they don’t have the same fear of humans. “You can get quite close to them so that makes them easy pickings.”

The COS relies on tips from the public – like the one received Sunday about the fourth elk found at Mesachie Lake – in order to tackle illegal hunting behaviour. Reporting can be done anonymously through the RAPP form on their website, or by calling 1-877-952-7277.

Elk have been increasingly spotted in Sooke and along the west side of the Island out to Port Renfrew, and fines for breaking the law can run anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 and can include the seizure of vehicles, hunting guns or other equipment, “depending on how it goes through the court system,” says Norris.

“There are various people who think for whatever reason, they can take elk. But there is a long term detrimental impact to the population if this behaviour continues.”


@kristyn_anthony
kristyn.anthony@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ladysmith A&W plans community Rod Run for June 4

Cruisin’ the Dub will look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Ladysmith centenarian honoured with birthday parade

Kay Rozzano said she’s been looking forward to this birthday ‘for 100 years’

Council votes to move forward with detailed site investigation of waterfront area lands

The “uplands area” of the Ladysmith waterfront has historical contaminants that must be remediated

Senior who was excessively speeding in Ladysmith says RCMP shouldn’t have impounded her vehicle

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Chemainus animal sanctuary needs your vote in nationwide contest

RASTA is up for $5,000 from Nutram; contest runs until May 31

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read