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Saanich police turn to public on deer killings

Oct 24 2012
Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen says police are troubled by the use of crossbows. 

Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen says police are troubled by the use of crossbows.

Photograph by: Bruce Stotesbury, Times Colonist , Times Colonist

The discovery of a second dead deer with a crossbow arrow in its body has Saanich police repeating a request for help from the public.

A three-to four-year-old buck, which had likely been dead for some time, was discovered over the weekend by a Del Monte Avenue resident.

"Once again, we see that there's another felled buck up in the Del Monte, Claremont, Santa Clara area," said Saanich police Sgt. Dean Jantzen. "It's also in the same area as other incidents in the past couple of years."

It is not clear whether the person or persons involved live in the area or are simply hunting there, Jantzen said. It is also not known if the deer are being killed for their antlers or meat, or because someone views them as pests.

"We'd love to find out more by making an arrest or two," he said.

Poaching can be hard to police because it tends to happen quickly and at night, Jantzen said.

"Typically, if a deer is felled in an incident of poaching, it's really just grabbed and is tossed in a truck and is gone."

Animals that do not die immediately tend to flee, he said.

Police are troubled by the use of crossbows in such cases, Jantzen said. Some crossbows, which can be easily concealed, are not restricted but smaller varieties can be prohibited.

"There are various provincial regulations that govern hunting and animals," he said. "We're mostly concerned about the discharge of the bow - that does constitute anywhere from a minimum bylaw violation to a maximum of a Criminal Code incident."

He said residents should keep an eye out anything that seems unusual, from people dressed in camouflage to slow-moving vehicles after dark.

Saanich police are asking anyone with information to call them at 250-475-4321 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). jwbell@timescolonist.com

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