Poaching continues to be a problem in the Kelowna area, with several more reports of illegal moose shot on the Westside this week.
Conservation Officer Terry Myroniuk said the open hunting season for young spike fork moose could be closed if there are too many more shootings of out-of-season animals during that time.
“The actions of these few (poachers) may jeopardize the open season,” he warned.
In other instances, he said there have been ethical hunters who have accidentally shot an animal that didn’t have the right horn configuration, but if they reported it themselves, they are dealt with much more leniently than if an investigation leads to the culprit.
Meat that can be salvaged in such instances is usually donated to the food bank or other local charity, but at least it isn’t left in the woods and wasted, noted Myroniuk.
“It makes me feel sick to think of all these animals shot and just left,” he said.
In a couple of instances, other hunters have actually had their binoculars on an animal, realized it was not legal, but have then watched as someone else shot it illegally.
Those hunters who saw the shooting have been very helpful in providing information to help conservation officers investigate.
This week there have been reports of a cow moose shot in the Pennask Lake area and another shot off the Elkhart Forest Service Road.
A newer model one-ton Chev Silverado was seen in the area.
Anyone with any information that could be helpful in investigating any poachings in the area should call the toll-free Report All Poachers and Polluters line at: 1-877-952-7277.
COs are also dealing with reports of cougars spotted in the Enterprise Road area near Dilworth Mountain and in Mission Ridge Park in the Mission area.
Reports of grizzly bear sightings have also been received from both the Gallagher’s Canyon area and from the Okanagan Centre area, said Myroniuk.