Conservation officers have been kept busy this week dealing with hunting violations in the Kelowna area and they advise hunters to check their regulations before heading out, and remember what they learned in their firearms course.
In fact, CO Sgt. Josh Lockwood says two instructors of the Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education program that hunters must take, were charged this week with violations of the rules they teach. Neither were local instructors, he said.
In the past few days they’ve suspended the driver’s licences of three hunters for alcohol use and one for drug use, and seized their firearms. “They’re out recreating with two deadly instruments, a firearm and a vehicle, and they’re drinking,” he commented in frustration.
As well, six were caught with loaded firearms in their vehicles, two left their quads unattended with their rifles on them, and one was loaded, so the rifles were seized.
Officers also seized an illegally-shot five-point bull elk and charged a hunter, as well as seizing three deer for improper cancellations of their tags.
“There are a lot of issues out there,” commented Lockwood. “But, we’ve checked probably 200 to 250 hunters and lots are doing things right too,” he added.
It’s important with a white-tailed deer doe season open now, that hunters are familiar with the differences between white-tailed and mule deer, because there isn’t an open season on mule deer does right now, he noted.
CO Jim Beck ticketed a Lake Country hunter for shooting a five-point bull moose when only two-point are open, in the Beaver Lake area. He lost his moose and had to gut it and remove it from the bush so it could be given to charity.
He self-reported the incident, but it was also reported by others.
In addition to hunting violations, COs are dealing with numerous complaints about bears getting into garbage, including bears tearing off screen doors to get into houses after garbage and chewing on hot tub covers.
His message to homeowners is not to leave garbage out where bears can get at it and not to put it out until the morning of collection day.