On Saturday, May 7th, conservation officers received information of a potential wildlife act violation of an animal being poached out of season. The violation took place on Bruce Creek Forestry Road west of Lake Enid.
On May 8th, officers responded and located the remains of a moose, a moose gut pile. So we determined that it was a mature cow moose, said Invermere conservation officer Greg Kruger.
Upon further investigation, conservation officers were able to identify three individuals involved in the Wildlife Act violation. Two of the three individuals are B.C. residents from the area and the other is a non-B.C. resident.
We were able to seize several firearms and we also recovered the poached moose meat. As a result of our investigation, we’re looking at several provincial Wildlife Act as well as Criminal Code charges specific to the firearms, said Mr. Kruger.
As this case is an ongoing investigation, he could not comment on what charges specifically they’re recommending.
We will be recommending several charges to the environmental Crown Counsel for this matter to go in front of provincial court where we will be putting our case forward and asking for significant hunting penalties as well as hunting suspensions, said Mr. Kruger.
The three in violation of the Wildlife Act could be looking at jail time for the alleged poaching that occurred on May 7th.
Under the Wildlife Act, once it goes through court, penalties can be a maximum up to a couple hundred thousand (dollars) and six months imprisonment, said Mr. Kruger.
Regular hunting season for bull moose opens September 20th, 2016 for Region 4 (Kootenay) hunting. In the Kootenay region, hunting cow moose in not permitted at anytime of the year. A mature cow moose is defined by the B.C. Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis as a female moose recognizable by having no antlers and being six feet at shoulder height weighing 600 to 800 pounds.
There’s no open hunting season for moose for this time of year, said Mr. Kruger. There’s no open hunting season for cow moose at any point of the year for this area of the province. It’s a very serious Wildlife Act infraction, so that being the main one, the moose being hunted and killed out of the open season.
In British Columbia, non-residents are permitted to hunt but must be accompanied by a guide or a resident who holds a permit to accompany. A resident applying for the permit to accompany must have a B.C. hunting licence as well as a big game species licence for three to five years. In this case, if these individuals were hunting together during regular hunting season, one of the B.C. residence would have had to have a permit to accompany.
Hunters are reminder to check the B.C. Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis
(visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/hunting/regulations) for open season as well as permit regulations before going out to hunt in the area. The public is asked to report any suspicious activity when out in the wilderness.