Interagency road blocks reveal hunting infractions

Recently road blocks held on Highway 97 near Clinton and north of Quesnel have helped give the COS a pulse on the hunting season.

Recently road blocks held on Highway 97 near Clinton and north of Quesnel have helped give the Conservation Officer Service (COS) a pulse on the hunting season, said Sgt. Len Butler.

“It was an excellent way to encounter hunters coming back from other areas with or without their game,” Butler said.

At the road block north of Quesnel, held in conjunction with the RCMP and the province’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Inspection unit in three days the COS encountered 300 hunters, resulting in eight written warnings and four violation tickets.

“That’s actually not too bad,” Butler said, noting in Clinton on a Friday afternoon they checked 110 hunters, with about 15 warnings and 10 violation tickets issued.

One of the biggest infractions has been the failure by hunters to leave any patches of evidence of the species or sex of the animal.

“We’ll get a carcass that is nicely wrapped or cut up and there is nothing on it to tell what kind of animal it is other than by size,” Butler said. “It has been a requirement by the wildlife act forever to have that evidence when transporting the animal, and unfortunately a lot of people don’t.”

The plan, Butler said, is to do more of the joint road blocks because they are a successful way of figuring out what kind of harvest is going on.

“One of the complaints from a lot of hunters was that they did not see any moose,” he added.

As night hunting complaints continue to come in, Butler is also encouraging residents to attempt to note down a license plate, colour and type of vehicle.

“Anything helps because they will mix plates around sometimes,” Butler said.