2 men fined $13K for illegally killing moose northwest of Kelowna, BC

WARNING: This article contains images that some readers may find distressing.

Two men were fined a combined $13,000 and banned from hunting for a collective five years after illegally killing three moose northwest of Kelowna, BC, the province’s Conservation Officers Service (COS) says.

Corey and Wayne Jopling, of Vernon, BC, entered a plea agreement and were found guilty of two counts of hunting without authorization and one count of failure to remove edible parts of meat.

The two men are related, Corey Jopling is the nephew of Wayne Jopling, the COS said. On November 12, 2019, they were seen hunting in recently cleared forest northwest of Kelowna, according to the service.

Neither man had a Limited Entry Hunting Permit (LEH) to hunt elk with antlers in the area. There were only five authorizations delivered in that area, according to the COS.

Conservation officials say two moose went haywire after the Joplings shot them. (BC Conservation Officers Service)

“Neither of them possessed an LEH antler moose authorization, therefore they could only hunt elk with fork antlers,” a COS statement said.

“Both men fired numerous shots at [three] elk, killing all three. The moose that were killed all required an authorization from LEH to be taken.”

According to the COS, only one of the moose was taken and the other two were left in disrepair.

The two men were sentenced this week after a COS investigation discovered bull elk antlers at Wayne Jopling’s home.

Conservation officers confiscated a pair of antlers from Wayne Jopling’s residence as part of the investigation. (BC Conservation Officers Service)

Wayne Jopling was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and was banned from hunting for three years, while Corey Jopling was fined $5,500 and banned from hunting for two years.

‘Dissuade others’

Both men must also retake a hunter education program and may not accompany other hunters or be in a hunting camp before their hunting ban expires.

“The COS hopes that these fines will help deter others from this illegal activity. Poaching is a reckless activity with blatant disregard for wildlife,” the statement read.

The COS said anyone who suspects they have witnessed a poaching incident should contact them at 1-877-952-7277.

The province is offering rewards of up to $2,000 for tips that result in successful investigations.

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