British Columbia

2 men fined $13K for illegally killing moose northwest of Kelowna, B.C.

Two men have been fined a combined $13,000 and banned from hunting for five years collectively after killing three moose illegally northwest of Kelowna, B.C. says the province's Conservation Officer Service (COS).

Corey and Wayne Jopling, of Vernon, B.C., were also banned from hunting for a combined 5 years

1 of 3 moose that were shot illegally northwest of Kelowna, B.C. on Nov. 12, 2019. On May 16, 2022 Wayne and Corey Jopling were convicted and stripped of their hunting licenses due to the incident. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

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Two men have been fined a combined $13,000 and banned from hunting for five years collectively after killing three moose illegally northwest of Kelowna, B.C. says the province's Conservation Officer Service (COS).

Corey and Wayne Jopling, of Vernon, B.C., both entered a plea arrangement and were convicted with two counts of hunting without authorization and one count of failing to remove edible portions of meat.

The two men are related, with Corey Jopling being Wayne Jopling's nephew, said the COS. On Nov. 12, 2019, they were witnessed hunting in a recently logged forest northwest of Kelowna, according to the service.

Neither of the men had limited entry hunting authorization (LEH) to hunt antlered moose in the area. There were only five authorizations handed out in that zone, according to the COS.

Conservation officers say two moose were left to spoil after being shot by the Joplings. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

"Neither man possessed an antlered moose LEH authorization, therefore they could only hunt spike-fork antlered moose," a COS statement read. 

"Both men fired numerous shots at [three] moose, killing all three. The moose killed all required an LEH authorization to be harvested."

According to the COS, only one of the moose was taken away and the other two were left to spoil.

The two men were convicted this week after an investigation by the COS, which uncovered bull moose antlers at Wayne Jopling's home.

A pair of antlers were seized at Wayne Jopling's residence by conservation officers as part of the investigation. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

Wayne Jopling was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and banned from hunting for three years, while Corey Jopling was fined $5,500 and banned for two years.

'Deter others'

Both men also have to retake a hunter education program, and cannot accompany other hunters or be in a hunting camp before their hunting ban expires.

"The COS hopes these fines will help deter others from this unlawful activity. Poaching is a reckless activity with a blatant disregard for wildlife," the statement read.

The COS said that anyone who suspects they have witnessed a poaching incident should contact them at 1-877-952-7277.

The province provides rewards up to $2,000 for tips that result in successful investigations.

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