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Deer-poaching season resumes in Prospect Lake area

Nov 14 2011
A deer in North Nanaimo shot through the neck with an arrow. 

A deer in North Nanaimo shot through the neck with an arrow.

Photograph by: Handout, Postmedia News

Deer poachers struck near Prospect Lake in Saanich Sunday morning, leaving a large buck badly injured with an arrow lodged in its front shoulder.

Grace Turnbull was standing in her kitchen about 10 a.m. when she saw the deer through her window as it walked into view. She said the “brutal” sight was one she expected.

About 30 deer regularly roam through her five-acre property, which makes for an attractive hunting ground for poachers armed with crossbows. A similar incident occurred three years ago when another deer walked in front of the same kitchen window with a hole in its neck, Turnbull said.

Saanich police responded to her call Sunday, but when they arrived the spooked deer limped into the woods and could not be found.

“I’ve just been waiting for this to happen and, sure enough, that big deer stood in front of me and it just made me sick,” Turnbull said. “He had an arrow sticking out of his shoulder and was limping badly.”

The retired 62-year-old is in her yard often and sees the deer every day. She had been watching the now-injured buck grow the past three years and suspected poachers would be coming around soon, considering the size of his prized antlers.

After seeing the first buck three years ago with the neck injury, where an arrow had gone clean through, she suspected the poachers would return. Saanich experienced a spate of poaching about this time last year, with several reports of deer shot by arrows.

Turnbull tries to keep a vigil in the area, watching out for unfamiliar vehicles that drive up her dead-end road. She wants to conceal her specific location so as not to tip off any other poachers.

She said she will be watching even more now to try to prevent this from happening again.

Poachers have struck several communities on Vancouver Island in the past few years.

Nanaimo police hunted for a poacher after three deer were found wounded or dead from attacks with crossbows in late 2006.

Another Nanaimo man in 2008 was found guilty of poaching a deer on the front lawn of a suburban home. During his trial, Walker Addison said he found the animal injured and put it out of its misery. The court concluded that Addison had in fact shot it with a 30-calibre rifle and then slit its throat.

dspalding@timescolonist.com

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