Vancouver Island Elk Poachers Fined

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Fines totalling $4,000 have been handed to two Campbell River hunters for the illegal killing of a Roosevelt elk.

Jonathan Andrew Slattery (the holder of an archery-only limited entry hunting authorization in November 2001) pleaded guilty to a charge under the Wildlife Act of failing to comply with the condition of a limited entry hunting authorization. He was fined $2,000.

Eric Hedstrom pleaded guilty to hunting elk without a limited entry hunting authorization. He received a fine of $2,000. Both men appeared Feb. 18 in Campbell River provincial court.

The conservation officer service is also recommending further administrative action be taken against the pair, up to and including suspension of hunting privileges.

The charges arose from an incident in November 2001. An inspection of the elk carcass that was brought into a local taxidermist shop revealed a noticeable gunshot wound to the animal’s head. Further investigation led to the two accused hunters, who claimed they had shot the animal first with an arrow and then with a shotgun to ensure it was dead. That claim was later found to be false after an inspection by the ministry’s wildlife veterinarian.

The population of Roosevelt elk on Vancouver Island is approximately 3,500 animals. Elk hunting within central and north Vancouver Island is allowed only through the limited entry hunting system. Additionally, limited entry hunting in management unit zone1-06A (Quinsam) is only allowed with use of a bow and arrow.

Roosevelt elk are a conservation concern on southern Vancouver Island and hunting is not allowed.

The maximum fine for these charges under the Wildlife Act is $25,000 and or up to six months in jail.

Illegal hunting and angling threaten British Columbia’s fish and wildlife. Through the Observe, Record, Report program, British Columbians are urged to combat illegal activity. Anyone with information is asked to contact the ministry’s toll-free tip line at 1-800-663-WILD (9453). All calls will be kept confidential.