From behind the wheel of his logging truck, Port Alberni’s Nolan Henderson enjoys what he calls the best seat in B.C. Seeing breathtaking landscapes and wildlife daily on the remote B.C. logging roads where he works.
“Grizzly bears are a real thrill when you get to see them, and the elk are so neat because they’re so big and there’s so many of them,” Nolan Henderson, told CHEK News on Saturday.
But to his disappointment, just hours after observing a huge herd of Roosevelt elk in the Squamish Valley in late June, he learned that a cow elk from the herd had just been poached. When he came across the suspected poachers’ truck that had the animal in the back, he said he quickly reacted, blocking them in with his massive truck until police and conservation could get there.
“When I saw what I saw I just couldn’t let them go,” said Henderson.
“It was a female, a cow elk. They make babies. You can’t do that. Every hunter knows.”
So alone in the wilderness, with men he suspected were armed, Henderson held his ground in his truck.
“When they tried to leave I just gently gave them a push to disable them so they couldn’t get away,” said Henderson.
According to the logging truck driver, when authorities arrived, the suspected poachers were caught red-handed. Later when he posted his encounter online, he said his phone lit up, with people calling him “a hero” and “a legend.”
“As far as I’m concerned I’m way over my head with this one. I just kind of came around the corner one morning and ‘oh look what kind of trouble I’m into now,'” said Henderson.
But what the Port Alberni man did that day appears to have worked. In a statement to CHEK News Saturday, B.C.’s Ministry of Environment said:
“The Conservation Officer Service is investigating the alleged unlawful harvesting of a cow elk in the Squamish Valley on June 21.”
Henderson says he was happy to hear that conservation was looking into it.
“It’s kind of like when you get in trouble you look back and go ‘oh it worked I guess,'” said Henderson.
But Henderson said there has also been backlash, with people commenting that he shouldn’t have gotten involved. But the 44-year-old animal lover told CHEK News that he’d do it all over again, and wants poachers to know it’s more than authorities who are watching out for B.C’s wildlife.