Timberlane Road resident Linda Dobinson used to enjoy watching a family of deer wander past her windows each morning, but she hasn’t seen any in months. She blames their absence on the hunter she says has been spotlighting, or pit-lamping, in the middle of the night in Morrison Nature Park near her property. On several occasions in recent months, she has heard gunshots around 3-4 a.m.
Dobinson is the second person in the neighbourhood who has seen boxes of deer parts dumped in a ditch along Arden Road next to the park.
“This is the fourth time this has happened down there,” said Dobinson, whose bedroom window faces Morrison Creek. “I’ve heard gunshot, my husband’s a hunter, so he knows…Besides the fact it’s illegal, I feel it’s very dangerous. Not happy about the whole situation. I don’t know what to do about it.”
Arden Road resident Val Wright knows of three boxes that have been dumped in three weeks. One box contained a deer head with antlers.
“I was getting sick of it,” Wright said. “The first one was covered in flies, it was disgusting. Then the second one about a week later. The last one was about a week ago.”
On one occasion, Wright’s husband heard what he thought was a gunshot in the early morning hours.
Dobinson thinks the culprit lives nearby because she never hears a vehicle or sees headlights.
She has called police, who have attended.
“I really notice the lack of deer,” she said. “I’m sickened by the whole thing.”
Employees from Courtenay’s Public Works department have attended the area to clean up on three different occasions, most recently on Monday, Nov. 2. City Bylaw Enforcement is also aware of the problem and has been on site.
Formal investigation of violations involving wildlife fall under the jurisdiction of the Conservation Officer Service. The public can report hunting violations at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277), or via an online reporting form: bit.ly/2GzSX0i
For most offences, poachers can be fined up to $25,000 and/or six months in jail, under the Wildlife Act.
If someone is discharging a firearm within city limits, the incident should be immediately reported to the RCMP by calling 9-1-1.