Nearly three years after the fact, a Vancouver man is now being punished for poaching Cowichan Lake area elk.
Acting on a tip from a member of the public, conservation officers found the accused with a freshly killed and a field-dressed elk, November 9, 2008, on the north shore of Cowichan Lake.
The hunting of elk has been banned in the area for the past 30 years.
“It’s just been a conservation effort,” local conservation officer Mark Kissinger said, adding that numbers still aren’t high enough to allow the hunting of elk to take place.
Sergei Sharov pleaded guilty to one count of hunting during a closed season, and one count of unlawful possession of wildlife, and was fined $5,000.
Of the fine, $4,500 will go toward the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund.
Sharov will also receive a five-year recognizance, which includes a ban from hunting and being in contact with other hunters.
His firearm was also forfeited to the crown.
Sharov wasn’t alone in his poaching, with the co-accused, Everett Clifford Smith, remaining at large, with a warrant out for his arrest.
“It’s refreshing to see that people will get fined when people catch them,” Kissinger said, adding that it’s also nice to see that the crown will begin seeking $10,000 per animal.
“It’s still occurring,” he said, of the poaching of local elk.
The maximum penalty for a first offense is $50,000, or imprisonment for a term of six months, or both.
The local Wilderness Watch program’s volunteers are constantly on the look-out for poachers.
Although this time of year usually sees poaching numbers drop, due to the spoilage factor (warm weather results in flies ruining meat), patrols never stop.