A Kelowna man has received a fine and is on hunting probation after shooting a mule deer buck in a residential neighbourhood in 2021.
In February of that year, the man baited and shot the animal along Lakeshore Road, in an area with homes, walking trails, and close to the nearby beach. He shot the mule deer buck with a crossbow, who ran off injured. The man, along with two others, ran after the animal but failed to find it.
The three people didn’t report the wounded animal to the Conservation Officer Services (COS). Reporting a wounded animal is required under the B.C. Wildlife Act (WLA).
The following morning, a child found the dead animal at their family’s residence. The family called the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline and conservation officers arrived and investigated the scene.
In Kelowna Provincial Court, the man pleaded guilty to hunting without consideration for the lives, safety or property of others and the wounding or killing of wildlife out of season, which are all offences under the WLA. The man received a six-year hunting probation and a $7,001 fine. Most of the fine is going to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
As part of the sentencing, the man has also been ordered to retake the CORE hunter training program and write apology letters to everyone in the neighbourhood impacted by the event.
“Poaching of any kind, especially in urban areas, is completely unacceptable and in this case endangered the lives and safety of the public,” said Kelowna Conservation Officer Ken Owens. “We hope this notable penalty will deter others from similar activities.”