British Columbia

Wildlife group on the hunt for poacher who shot moose out of season and left it to die

A moose left dying with bullet wounds on a forest service road near Pemberton, B.C., has a wildlife group asking the public for help to find the poacher.

Calls for more provincial oversight after animal found with bullet wounds on forestry road near Pemberton

A moose near Pemberton photographed in 2019. Moose hunting is allowed in the area, but only in the fall. (Submitted by Tonette McEwan)

WARNING: This story contains an image that some people may find upsetting.

A moose left dying with bullet wounds on a B.C. forest service road has a wildlife group asking the public for help to find the poacher.

The Pemberton Wilidlife Association (PWA) is offering a reward to anyone who might have information about how the animal was shot and left for dead at the summit of the Hurley River Forest Service Road.

The road runs through woodlands just north of Pemberton, B.C.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirms that a mature bull moose was shot and died in the area some time between June 6 at 7 p.m. and June 7 at 9 a.m. PT. 

"We are hoping some person with a sense of moral responsibility knows who did this senseless stupid act," said Sgt. Bob Butcher. 

PWA president Allen McEwan suspects the moose was illegally shot and left for dead by a poacher.

"This is completely out of season, there's no moose hunting this time of the year, and to make a poor shot and leave a moose to suffer at the side of the road — it's just a horrible act," said McEwan.

The moose, illegally killed, suffered a gunshot to the pelvis area. (James Slade)

Increasing oversight

Moose hunting is allowed in the area, but only in the fall. Hunters are legally obligated to pack up the carcass and utilize all the meat.

McEwan and other PWA members removed the dead animal so it wouldn't attract bears. They're hoping tips from the public could lead to finding the poacher and convicting them. Illegal hunting in B.C. carries fines of up to $50,000 and six months imprisonment.

Blood is left behind on this section of the Hurley River Forest Service Road, where the moose was left for dead. (James Slade)

McEwan says these types of incidents are rare but not unheard of. He says there are several unsolved cases in the Squamish and Lillooet valleys of animals that were shot in the fall and left behind.

He's calling for greater provincial oversight in the area.

"If [the province] is going to allow people to hunt and recreate on Crown land, they desperately need to step up and put more enforcement personnel in the field on a regular basis," he said. 

"This is just an example of what happens when you leave a huge piece of Crown land unsupervised, and the province needs to step up and do a better job," he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the PWA, or B.C.'s Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1 877 952-7277.


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