The BC Conservation Office says a dead Roosevelt elk found near Patterson Lake may have been poached. This undated file photo shows a male elk.

The BC Conservation Office says a dead Roosevelt elk found near Patterson Lake may have been poached. This undated file photo shows a male elk.

Poacher may have killed elk on Vancouver Island

Death of bull elk ‘very suspect,’ says provincial conservation officer

Conservation authorities are asking for information from the public after finding a dead elk that may have been poached, says James Hilgemann, a provincial conservation officer.

He said that natural resource officers found the animal while inspecting a cut block near Patterson Lake, northwest of Campbell River.

“They noticed some turkey vultures circling and went over the hump and located this five-point bull elk laying roadside,” said Hilgemann.

“It’s a younger bull elk,” he said. “It’s probably three, four years old.”

He examined the cadaver with another officer, skinning back the hide. The animal was mostly untouched.

“Turkey vultures took the eyeball and some areas around the rump,” Hilgemann said.

A poacher would have normally taken some meat, unless they were scared away by someone, he said.

He also said no claw marks were visible that would indicate a cougar attack, although a cougar may have attacked and then been “flushed off.”

But he said there were two holes in the animal’s jugular area, and some bruising caused by blunt trauma.

“Somebody may have shot it with a high-powered rifle,” he said.

However, no casings or other evidence of poaching was found nearby.

“Very suspect. It’s inconclusive,” he said. “Cause of death unknown.”

He said that anyone with evidence of poaching can contact the RAPP line anonymously.

Hilgemann added that elks are high-value animals, and the stakes would be high in a prosecution.

Authorities would likely seek a penalty of up to $15,000, he said.

The animal was a Roosevelt elk, a subspecies that, in B.C., is mainly found on Vancouver Island.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

FILE PHOTO
Editorial: Time to roll up our sleeves and pitch in

They’re just not quite sure they want to get a vaccine — yet

Brian Thatcher, owner of Cowichan Bay’s Pacific Industrial & Marine, is disappointed the province didn’t provide funding for a proposal from PIM, in partnership with the Cowichan Tribes, to remove derelict boats from local waters. (File photo)
Application for funding to remove derelict vessels in Cowichan area fails

Province announced $4.5 million for new program on April 28

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Sean Ramsay comes away with the puck after a battle along the boards during a game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on May 1, 2021. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Three wins in a row for Cowichan Capitals

BCHL team enjoying best stretch of the season

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

The Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road in Saanich. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found unresponsive at Saanich jail

Man was in Victoria police custody the day before being found

(File)
With revenge porn on the rise in 2021, B.C. seeks feedback for new legislation

New legislation could help victims take down images and receive compensation

Port Alberni RCMP are investigating a homicide on Third Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
RCMP investigating homicide in Port Alberni apartment

Investigators are still trying to determine the identity of the deceased

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

Most Read