Poacher fined $1,495 for illegally bagging two animals
A hunter who illegally killed a deer and sheep last year has been slapped with fines totalling $1,495.
Conservation officer Bob Hamilton said in a press release the 51-year-old man was observed Dec. 6 shooting a female California bighorn sheep near Saiken Drive just outside of Penticton’s eastern city limit. Hunting of female sheep is banned in the Okanagan.
The kill was observed by a hiker who watched the poacher through binoculars and reported the incident to conservation officers, who later caught up with the man and seized the meat, which was donated to the Salvation Army food bank.
Hamilton said the investigation also determined the man shot two mule deer bucks — one over his limit — during the last hunting season, and did not cancel his licence as required. The deer meat was also donated to the food bank.
Although such offences could attract fines up to $100,000, conservation officers went easy on the poacher, who voluntarily agreed to the violation tickets.
“In this case, conservation officers took into account that the shooter was a new and inexperienced hunter, it was his first offence and he was extremely co-operative with the officers,” Hamilton said.
He also commended the witness who reported the poaching and said that person’s name will be sent to the B.C. Wildlife Federation to be considered for a reward.
Hamilton said the poacher’s name was not released because he was fined under a provincial act outside of the court process.
To report a poacher or polluter, call the provincial hotline at 1-877-952-7277.