A hunter who used a rifle to shoot an elk from his truck and then faked having shot it with a bow and arrow - as his hunting permit required - has been fined $6,000 and lost his right to hunt for three years.
Scott Alexander Dwinnell of Campbell River pleaded guilty in provincial court to dangerous hunting, failing to retrieve edible portions of wildlife, and failing to comply with the archery-only condition of his hunting permit.
Dwinnell was charged after firing two shots from his truck Oct. 17, 2001, when he spotted the elk under a power line bordering the municipality of Campbell River. The area is near the Campbell River Airport and is limited to hunting by archery only for safety reasons; it was also the first time since 1970 that the area was open to elk hunting. The number of permits issued was based on the fact that archery hunters have a much lower kill rate than those using guns.
After killing the elk, Dwinnell stuck an arrow into the bullet wound, took photographs, butchered the elk, and drove 1.5 kilometres down the power line, where he hid the gun and the parts of the elk that showed the animal had been shot.
The conservation officer service was alerted by a guide outfitter and assistant guide working in the area, who heard the rifle shots and later saw Dwinnell carrying the elk to the truck. Conservation officers intercepted him on his way home.
The main elk hunting season this year begins on Thursday. Illegal hunting and angling threaten elk, as well as other wildlife and fish. British Columbians are urged to report violations to the conservation officer service toll-free at 1-800-663-WILD (9453). All information will be kept confidential.