Skip to content

Sarah Simpson column: What about Bob? Youbou aims to immortalize infamous elk

There’s a guy named Bob who lives in Youbou and people are very protective of him
The residents of Youbou are fundraising to commission a life-sized carving of Bob, the resident Roosevelt elk. (Wendy Stokes photo)

I’m sitting here at my desk looking at the blank page on my computer screen upon which this column should (and will eventually) be typed. I don’t know what to write about though. Not only am I in a crummy “will this snow and cold ever go away” kind of mood but I’m still kind of smarting from an incredibly angry email I got in response to one of my columns from a while back that’s left me hesitant to share anything with you at all.

Logically I know that the angriest are often the loudest and that for every person that takes the time to email me with their disapproval, there are others who actually enjoy my columns. Even so, I, like many, for some reason tend to give more weight to the comments of the angry few. The loudest. I don’t know why we do this but we should really work on stopping. It stings and we can feel that pain much more, I suppose, than we can accept praise. Anyway, here we go on my second column of the year and it’s supposed to be uplifting, darn it! (Can I write ‘darn it’ in the paper? I guess we’ll find out.)

OK, so here’s something I’ve been following that I haven’t told you about yet that I think is really cool. I’ve been sitting on it until they got more organized but all of a sudden things are moving fast and by writing about it, perhaps it could help their cause.

There’s a guy named Bob who lives in Youbou and people are very protective of him. Residents like to keep an eye on the massive creature — and don’t email me telling me I’m insensitive. It’s just fine to call him a massive creature because he’s not a human, he’s a Roosevelt elk and it seems elk don’t mind being called extra large.

Bob runs with a crowd well-known to the community. There’s Bob, Henry, Mr. Hollywood and I think there are Dennis and Howard, too. (What a great problem to have when there are so many majestic creatures out there you can’t remember all their names!)

The human members of the community always manage to alert the right people whenever they see poor Bob injured or tangled up in people’s clotheslines and whatnot. Photos of Bob and his friends aplenty can be seen on the Cowichan Lake area community Facebook pages and people love to mention their resident elk sightings. They’re just part of life in Youbou and the locals like it that way.

Bob comes and goes all the time. The community though, wants him to stay forever. There’s a group in Youbou that’s trying to muster the funds needed to commission a life-sized carving of the area’s most infamous Roosevelt elk. The more they look into it, the more support they see.

The group’s leaders have spoken with Area I (Youbou) director Klaus Kuhn who is supportive of their plan and has taken it to the CVRD’s parks department for approval. They’ve requested quotes from local and Island carvers and now have a ballpark cost to look at for fundraising. They’ve also discussed at length where a giant Bob carving would best be situated, though that decision hasn’t been made.

Or at least I thought. By the time I got this far in my story, I learned local carver, Roy Anderson, had offered his carving services for free!

“This will cut costs dramatically as now we only have to worry about wood and supply costs,” explained Monica Ash, one of the group’s leaders. Ash went on to say that Little League Park has also been earmarked to place the monument, if approved.

Things happen fast in the wild west that is Youbou, let me tell ya. Those people get stuff done!

The group is now hoping to approach a couple of companies to see if there may be one willing to donate the wood.

“If not, we will have to purchase the wood, which won’t be cheap,” Ash admitted.

Fundraising will continue, regardless.

“We will need help for costs associated with sealing and protection supplies, and supplies to build a protective cover and retaining wall to help with preservation,” Ash explained.

Any remaining funds would be donated directly to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation or another source that will ensure the livelihood of the elk for future generations.

How’s that for a good news story?

All of this, mostly on Facebook and during a pandemic, from a loosely organized group of sort-of neighbours, but mainly a random mix of lake-area folks (and some from further afield) who just really like Bob.

For those wanting to learn more or help out by donating funds, visit the GoFundMe page at

The residents of Youbou are fundraising to commission a life-sized carving of Bob, the resident Roosevelt elk. (Julie Madden photo)

Sarah Simpson

About the Author: Sarah Simpson

I started my time with Black Press Media as an intern, before joining the Citizen in the summer of 2004.
Read more