FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A Smithers man has been fined $4,000 and given a two-and-a-half-year hunting ban for poaching a mule deer buck on private property.

According to a Conservation Officer Service Facebook post, the male pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of wildlife and failure to remove edible portions.

According to the post, in November 2017, CO’s were sent a photo of a man posing with a large mule deer buck in an unknown location. After some investigating it was discovered the location was an agricultural field between Hudon’s Hope and Fort St. John. CO’s also discovered a deer carcass where only the head and cape had been removed (cape refers to a portion of the deer hide that is used for a mounted display).

The remnants of the carcass, including all the edible portions of the meat, were left behind.

As part of the investigation, CO’s reached out to taxidermists in the area and were able to find a mule deer cape and antlers which matched the photo they received, which resulted in their seizure.

After DNA analysis, it was determined that the antlers, mule deer carcass, and evidence located at the scene all matched.

Most of the $4,000 fine—$3,800— will be going to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.