There’s been another case of elk poaching on Vancouver Island, and this time, it’s near Nanoose Bay.
It happened in November, but after CHEK News coverage about a similar incident near Cowichan Lake earlier this month, the complainant decided to shed light on this case, too.
Kim Brunt was driving down a logging road west of Nanoose Bay on Nov. 25 when he noticed something unusual that led to a gruesome discovery.
“A lot of birds of prey, eagles, and more ravens than I’ve ever seen in one location, so I knew there was probably some kind of a carcass and got out to investigate and started finding carcasses,” said Brunt.
The former provincial biologist of 32 years says there were four elk carcasses, all female, known as cows. They were 10 kilometres past the gate on Sommerset Road near Round Lake. Two of the elk had some meat taken, and the other two had also been shot but simply left to rot.
“An incredible waste,” said Brunt. “It’s illegal not to recover edible portions.”
From his experience, he says it appears the elk had been shot about a week previous, during the night, and he has no doubt it’s a clear case of poaching.
Earlier this month, CHEK News reported on three elk carcasses found around Cowichan Lake that also had signs of being poached.
The BC Conservation Office says it’s investigating both cases, and it doesn’t know how many reports of poached elk on the Island it’s received this year.
The BC Wildlife Federation says the problem may be much worse than one might expect.
“We don’t know, and I think this really illustrates it too. We have a news feature that comes out, and all of a sudden, someone steps up and says, ‘Hey, I found something similar in a different area. We know there aren’t enough conservation officers,'” said Jesse Zeman.
The federation says the more awareness among hunters and anglers, the higher the chances those responsible will be caught. It says more access to privately owned forested lands would help.
“We have all these people who care deeply about fish and wildlife and particularly elk on Vancouver Island and the more that we can have them out being the eyes and ears for enforcement officials and to take care of fish and wildlife habitat as well. More is better in that case,” said Zeman.
Brunt says a friend who lives near the forested land has heard high-powered shots at nighttime on two occasions recently. He says illegal night poaching is an ongoing issue that needs to stop.
When asked if the BC Conservation Office has enough resources, the officer said they’re working with the resources they have and can call out resources from neighbouring zones and regions if needed.