Three more elk were found illegally killed in the Lake Cowichan area on Dec. 6.
Conservation officer Scott Norris said the three elk, who were all shot, were found close together in the same cut block in an area south of Lake Cowichan, about halfway to Port Renfrew, by a legitimate hunter.
He said one elk was left entirely to waste, while the other two had only half their meat taken.
“It’s a travesty and a horrible waste of these animals,” Norris said.
“We’re really talking about the loss of potentially six elk because all three were cows and there’s a good chance they would have soon become pregnant. This is currently under investigation and we’re hoping somebody knows something about this incident and will call our RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277 to provide us with information. Anyone calling can do so anonymously.”
Norris said that, with these three elk, there have now been 10 cases of elk poaching in the south Island, with many of them in the Lake Cowichan area, over the last few months.
He said the latest incident before the discovery of three dead elk on Dec. 6 was in late November when two elk were found poached south of Lake Cowichan towards the Shawnigan Lake area.
“There a lot of elk in the north Island as well, and some of them are also taken illegally by poachers, by there is a lot more poaching going on in the south Island,” Norris said.
“The herds have grown over the years and there are now elk in different locations where there wasn’t any before. These are crimes of opportunity and it’s horrible. There is a limited-entry hunt of elk, but these cases are not related to that. Poaching like this impacts the populations of elk on the Island. There was no legal elk hunt for 30 years on the Island until about 2012 when the elk numbers allowed a limited-entry one, but if this behaviour continues and the populations are impacted, the legal hunting could have to be stopped.”