North Okanagan Conservation Officers seized cut and wrapped moose meat which they say came from two animals. As a result of the COs investigation, charges against two people will be recommended to the Crown Counsel. (Conservation Officer Service/Facebook)

North Okanagan Conservation Officers seized cut and wrapped moose meat which they say came from two animals. As a result of the COs investigation, charges against two people will be recommended to the Crown Counsel. (Conservation Officer Service/Facebook)

Number of illegal moose killing ‘disappointing’ in North Okanagan

Conservation Office says this has been a bad year for poaching in Kelowna

An unusually high number of moose poaching has taken place in the North Okanagan, and particularly Kelowna.

“This year in general, we saw an incredible amount of moose shot and left or illegally killed,” said Micah Kneller, Conservation Officer for the region, which covers Kelowna, Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm and Sicamous.

“It was a pretty bad year. Pretty disappointing to see that coming from down here.”

Among them is a recent case, where charges are being recommended to Crown Counsel against two local men.

“What we’re investigating is a person who has exceeded his bag limit and used another person’s license,” said Kneller.

While individuals are only allowed one moose, it is alleged that this hunter shot two.

“You can’t shoot a moose and then call your buddy up and tell him to cancel a tag,” said Kneller. “You’re not allowed to cancel a species license for an animal you never killed.”

The suspect also failed a compulsory inspection and the meat has been seized.

The suspects could face stiff fines.

“We have an option for any violation to handle with a warning or a court appearance. We are beyond a warning,” said Kneller. “It’s a pretty serious offense.”

READ MORE: Charges recommended after seizure of moose meat in North Okanagan

Unfortunately, this case is not uncommon.

“It probably happens more than we’d like to know,” said Kneller.

But poachers are warned that COs do not take such offences lightly.

“We want people to understand that we are investigating this kind of stuff, we take it seriously.”

In fact, the whole reason COs such as Kneller got into their careers in the first place is to look out for the wildlife.

“Our wildlife resources are finite. It’s not like we have an endless supply of wildlife that people can go out and shoot and kill,” said Kneller, adding that COs get a lot of heat for problem bears and cougars, but that is not the part of the job they enjoy.

Aiding in such investigations is forensics testing, from DNA to firearms.

“We have the ability to match bullets to guns,” said Kneller, as COs use police testing.

Anyone who has information about poaching can call the RAP line, and can remain anonymous, at 1-877-952-7277.

“There’s antler restrictions. When you see a moose you can’t just shoot it and then see what you got.”

Individuals can also self report, which would still be investigated, but is more likely to lead to a warning versus charges.

READ MORE: One injured in targeted Kamloops shooting


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, families stay at a temporary evacuation center at Catanduanes province, eastern Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, as Typhoon Goni hits the country. Families living near coastal towns have moved to evacuation centers as the strong typhoon makes landfall. (Philippine Red Cross via AP)
Okanagan community group organizes fundraiser for typhoon-hit Philippines

Over two million people have been affected by flooding, with about 500,000 forced to leave homes

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

Representatives of Vernon Rotary Clubs, starting left: Angela Yablonski (Vernon Rotary), Dustin Stadnyk (Kalamalka Rotary), and Michael Wardlow (Silver Star Rotary) present the proceeds from fall fundraising to Anna Dawyd and Laurie Postill (Friends of Okanagan Rail Trail) to help create the Northern Gateway to Okanagan Rail Trail. (Contributed)
Rail Trail boosted by North Okanagan Rotary Clubs

More than $7,400 raised to develop gateway at Kilometre Zero

O’Rourkes Peak Cellars is located in Lake Country, B.C. (Contributed)
Lake Country winery temporarily closes due to possible COVID-19 exposure

The establishment plans to reopen on Dec. 4 after a deep clean

BC NDP’s Harwinder Sandhu was officially sworn in as MLA for Vernon-Monashee Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
‘I’m truly grateful’: Vernon-Monashee MLA officially sworn in

BC NDP Harwinder Sandhu was officially elected Sunday, Nov. 8 after mail-in ballots were counted

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Garage in Kelowna burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through South Okanagan fruit stand

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon, closing Highway 97 for two hours

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read