Conservation officer Frank DeBoon says someone went for a drive recently in the Baynes Lake area south of Fernie, spotted a herd of elk and shot into it, dropping three cows where they stood.

Deboon says the three females, who were likely pregnant, were then left there to die. In 26 years as a conservation officer, DeBoon says he's never seen anything like it.

elk070102

Conservation officers say someone went for a drive and fired into a herd of elk killing three cows who were likely pregnant. (CBC)

"It's pretty upsetting to see somebody who would just go and shoot animals and leave them to waste," he told CBC News.

Deboon estimates it happened about a week ago. He says the shooter or shooters didn't take anything.

"The elk were all in good health, probably pregnant with this year's calves. There's no reason for it other than somebody deciding to shoot them."

DeBoon says they'll likely get away with it too. The site of the shooting is off a fairly remote logging road and unless there was more than one person in the vehicle, there are likely no witnesses.

Still DeBoon wants the story out there. He's hoping someone either heard the shots, or or perhaps stories from someone bragging about their hunting prowess.

The shooting comes after nearly a dozen elk were shot and butchered by poachers on Vancouver Island last year.

MAP: Baynes Lake, south of Fernie, B.C.

With files from the CBC's Bob Keating