Hunters arrested in B.C. urban deer-poaching case
Published Thursday, November 4, 2010 3:32PM PDT
Police have arrested two crossbow-toting hunters in a suburb of Victoria, B.C., but say the trend of urban deer-poaching is continuing with the recent discovery of a buck's head on a driveway.
On Wednesday evening, a woman living on Granville Road in Saanich called police to say that she'd seen two suspicious-looking men entering a trailhead nearby.
When the officers arrived, "One of the dog handlers heard a twig snap and knew that there were some people right in the area," Sgt. Dean Jantzen told reporters.
"As it was getting dark out, it was tough to see them."
But the dark wasn't the only reason they were difficult to find -- they were both dressed in full camouflage and lying on the ground close to where the officers were standing.
Both men were carrying crossbows, and were just 200 feet from the closest home, Jantzen said.
Police are recommending charges of possession of a weapon for dangerous purposes against a 49-year-old Victoria man and a 38-year-old Saanich resident.
Jantzen said it's too soon for police to connect the two men with the rash of apparent trophy hunting that's swept the city in the last week, but the investigation is ongoing.
Since Oct. 26, Saanich residents have made five separate discoveries of dead or mutilated deer and body parts.
The most recent find was made on Wednesday, when a homeowner on Townsend Drive discovered the head of a small buck in their driveway.
"It had obviously been severed from the body," Jantzen said.
Investigators don't believe that the head matches up with the decapitated body that was discovered on a lawn last week.
"The size of the head is disproportionate to the carcass that was recovered," Jantzen said. "It's a much smaller animal."
He added that experts have not determined if the head matches a sawn-off deer leg found in a park on Sunday. "It's tough to say," he said.