Experts: elk poaching common

Elk poaching is easy for those willing to search the wilderness south of Port Alberni, say some wildlife experts of an ongoing problem caused by forestry operations in the area and tight restrictions on legal hunting of the animals.

The issue has grabbed headlines in recent weeks with the discovery of six Roosevelt elk carcasses since early November in various parts of the area east of the Inlet and south of Port Alberni. A limited entry hunt exists for the animals, and First Nations are permitted to harvest elk in some parts of Vancouver Island.

But the carcasses found over the last two and a half months were all illegal kills, as the B.C. Conservation Officer Service allows no elk hunting in the region south of Port Alberni. The Nuu-chahnulth Tribal Council and the provincial wildlife authority have posted a reward of more than $30,000 for information leading to the conviction of those involved in the poaching incidents.