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UPDATED: Two Roosevelt elk poached: culprits sought by Conservation officers

Following two incident recently, Conservation officers are asking for the public’s help
White snow makes it harder for the area’s Roosevelt elk to blend into the background. Poachers have been taking advantage. (Submitted)

Duncan Conservation Officers are seeking information in relation to two Roosevelt Elk that were shot along the north shore of Cowichan Lake.

One elk was shot early on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017 near Cottonwood Creek.

A dark Dodge Ram was seen at the location.

The second elk was likely shot Dec. 26, 2017 near the North and South Shore Road junction.

This has been an ongoing problem, with volunteers keeping their eyes open, but your help is needed, too, according to Denis Martel of Wilderness Watch at Lake Cowichan.

“It seems like the last few years we’ve had poaching activity just between Christmas and New Year’s; there’s less activity in the outdoors at that time and they [the poachers] seem to think they’re not vulnerable to Wilderness Watch or Conservation people.

“But, Conservation went out there and, sure enough, we had one that was poached in the Youbou area and there was another one farther west and two more were poached between Heather campsite and Kissinger Lake.”

Elk are more vulnerable at this time of year, too, he said.

“They’re foraging for food. The rut’s over and they’re trying to fatten up again even though it’s halfway through the winter. Then, you know, the snow pushes them down and they get so they’re beside the road and the forest because that’s where all the fine grasses are going to be growing. They’re in there and all of a sudden they’re bedding down right beside the road and Mr. Poacher comes around with his spotlight and finds these eyes looking back at him and then boom! the elk are dead.”

Please call the Conservation Officer 24/7 hotline at 1-877-952-7277 if you have any information about these wildlife crimes.