Poachers target deer in Maple Ridge

Karen Morris shot a photograph of the buck with an arrow still lodged in his body. - Karen Morris/ Contributed
Karen Morris shot a photograph of the buck with an arrow still lodged in his body.
— image credit: Karen Morris/ Contributed

Conservation officers in Maple Ridge are on the hunt for poachers who shot a deer with cross-bow last week, leaving the buck injured with an arrow sticking out of his side.

The maimed ungulate has been hiding in a thicket of trees near Horseman’s Park, off 224th Street, since Thursday.

“It is extremely wounded and will eventually end up dying a slow and painful death,” said Mark Isaaks, who spotted the deer on his property last week.

“The arrow has broken off now and there’s yellow puss oozing out of the wound.”

Isaaks recently spotted men dressed in camouflage and armed with cross-bows walking through the park and private property. He wants his neighbours to watch out for “these villains.”

Hunting is prohibited within urban boundaries, but the ban does little to deter poachers bent on breaking the law.

Isaaks used to see four bucks and five does on his five-acre property off 227th Street, near Abernethy Way, but the population has since dwindled to two deer.

“It bothers me to know that people are hunting early in the mornings even before we get up to go to work,” said Isaaks, who is frustrated that conservation officers haven’t euthanized the deer.

“If we were all watching, then this wouldn’t happen.”

His neighbour, Karen Morris, who managed to snap a photograph of the injured buck, also wants the conservation service to intervene.

“The deer seems to be quite sick as when he walks he throws up. This deer should be put down, but we have not heard back from [conservation],” she added.

B.C. Conservation Services reports officers are aware of the injured deer and have tried to locate him.

Conservation officer Cody Ambrose said staff have been to the neighbourhood a couple of times, but the deer is gone by the time they arrive.

The officers will try to remove the arrow if they are able to trap the deer and sedate it. But if the wound is infected, the deer will most likely be put down.

“What we are concerned about is the people who are doing this to the deer,” said Ambrose.

“We call them urban poachers.”

This is the second time the conservation service has received a call about a deer impaled by arrow in the span of two months.

Poaching has been going on for quite a few years in Maple Ridge, Ambrose added.

“The person who is doing this doesn’t have experience in bow hunting and is doing it in a very unsafe manner.”

There have also been reports from the area of arrows stuck in car doors.

“They are being quite reckless, so the faster we can get reports on this person, the faster we can hold them accountable for what they’ve been doing. We don’t want to see any more deer with arrows in them,” Ambrose said.

Bears still about

The Conservation Officer Service continues to receive calls about nuisance bears in Maple Ridge.

Not all bears are hibernating this winter and Maple Ridge residents are being reminded to keep their garbage inside until the day of pickup.

“Every year, we have bears that just don’t sleep and they become problem bears and they end up getting destroyed... it becomes a safety issue,” said conservation officer Cody Ambrose, adding he receives at least one call a day from Maple Ridge.


If you see a hunter within Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows urban boundary, call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) immediately or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility network. Try to take down a license plate number.


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