By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

The discovery of a headless deer carcass within the district of Invermere has led to charges being laid against a local man.

A local conservation office received a call on the morning of Sunday, September 28th, from a concerned citizen. Earlier that morning, the caller had followed a trickle-like trail of blood behind his property which leads onto a ravine where he ended up finding a large mule deer buck, minus the head.

I attended, met with the concerned citizen and confirmed that a deer had been killed in town, said conservation officer Greg Kruger.

Mr. Kruger was able to follow up on a tip offered by the complainant, who was suspicious of three young men with flashlights in that area two nights earlier.

With concerns of theft, the complainant wrote down a license plate and description of their vehicle before the men departed.

That information allowed the conservation office to locate a suspect, Mr. Kruger said, who they were able to confirm was involved in shooting a large-antlered mule deer buck in town.

As a result of the info provided to the CO service, we were able to successfully locate and charge an individual under the wildlife act, one adult male from Invermere, Mr. Kruger said.

The suspect is alleged to have used a bow and arrow to kill the deer before decapitating it for trophy purposes. He is facing charges of hunting during a closed season and unlawful possession of dead wildlife.

I dont want to paint hunters with the same brush as this individual; most hunters are very ethical. He wasnt a hunter, hes an opportunistic individual who poached an animal, said Mr. Kruger.

The District of Invermere doesnt have an open hunting season for obvious safety reasons, Mr. Kruger said.

The incident happened close to Eileen Madson Primary School, he said, in the ravine behind Gierlich Road.

People are hunting in close proximity to where people are living; we look at it as a big public safety concern, said Mr. Kruger.

The Conservation Office reminds hunters that with an open hunting season underway, the authority expects every member of the public to abide by the regulations.

We ask the public, if you see any suspicious activity, call us, without putting yourself at risk, said Mr. Kruger.

The number to Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) is 877-952-7277.