Three Lake Country men were fined a total of $11,000 in Kelowna Provincial Court April 8, 2021, for illegally hunting two bull moose in Vernon in 2017, and another two moose in Revelstoke in 2019. (Dave Rothwell Photography)

Three Lake Country men were fined a total of $11,000 in Kelowna Provincial Court April 8, 2021, for illegally hunting two bull moose in Vernon in 2017, and another two moose in Revelstoke in 2019. (Dave Rothwell Photography)

Three Okanagan men fined $11K total for poaching moose in Vernon, Revelstoke

Four bull moose in total were killed illegally in separate ‘party hunting’ incidents in 2017 and 2019

Three Lake Country men have been slapped with a combined $11,000 in fines related to the poaching of four moose in two separate incidents in Vernon and Revelstoke.

Justice Ellen Burdett levied the fines for what is commonly known as “party hunting” in Kelowna Provincial Court Thursday, April 8.

According to court documents, Terry Knooihuizen and Christopher Gross of Lake Country went bull moose hunting in November 2017 in the Okanagan region. Knooihuizen held a limited entry hunting authorization at the time, allowing him to hunt one antlered moose. Gross did not possess a valid hunting licence at the time.

A general open spike-fork moose season was in effect in the area at the time. Spike-fork moose are defined as having no more than two tines on one antler.

Knooihuizen killed a spike-fork bull moose 27 km northeast of Vernon. Instead of immediately cancelling his moose species licence as required by law, he called a friend, Timothy McCool of Lake Country, who had a valid licence.

While waiting to meet McCool, Knooihuizen carried on hunting and killed a second bull moose, exceeding his limit. McCool came to the kill site to let his friend to use his valid hunting tag on the moose, which he didn’t kill himself. The two friends then loaded both animals into McCool’s vehicle.

In October 2019, Knooihuizen and Gross were at it again — this time 17 km southwest of Revelstoke.

Court documents show that on this occasion Knooihuizen again killed two bull moose, exceeding the one-moose provincial bag limit. He again tried to cover the second illegal kill by using a friend’s tag — this time Gross’s. The two moose were again killed in spike-fork season, during which a compulsory inspection of antlers is required under the Wildlife Act. Knooihuizen discarded both sets of antlers.

Knooihuizen was fined a total of $7,000 for the two instances in which he exceeded his bag limit and used another person’s tag to cover up an illegal kill. McCool and Gross each received a $2,000 fine for their roles in the cover-ups.

The fines are payable to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Knooihuizen was banned from hunting, attending a hunt or possessing wildlife for two years; McCool and Gross received the same conditions but with one-year bans. All three offenders will also have to re-take the province’s hunter education program.

“Poaching is a reckless activity with a blatant disregard for wildlife and public safety. The COS hopes these fines will help deter others from this unlawful activity,” said Vernon Conservation Officer Ken Owens, who served as an informant in the two cases.

Owens urged the public to report all hunting violations to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line: 1-877-952-7277.

READ MORE: B.C. conservation officer who refused to kill 2 bear cubs still fighting to return to work

READ MORE: Wild gopher snakes aren’t pets: Vernon conservation officer


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Conservationhunting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

At their April 20 board meeting, School District 83 trustees agreed to add a new option to the Long Range Facilities Plan, E6, which proposes two Grade 9-12 high school campuses, Sullivan and at Shuswap Middle School, with the Jackson campus becoming a Grade 6-8 middle school. (File photo)
School District 83 adds new option for Salmon Arm schools

No decision made on Long Range Facilities Plan, trustees considering more consultation

Salmon Arm City Councillor Chad Eliason, then-Mayor Nancy Cooper, then Coun.-Marg Kentel and BC Transit Sr. Regional Manager Steve Harvard and guests on board a local transit bus in December 2011 during a celebration marking 20 years of transit service in the area. (File photo)
Province follows transit tradition similar to Salmon Arm’s 15 years later

In 2006 the city introduced free bus rides for children and youth on all school and other holidays

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

Shuswap Middle School principal Sydney Griffith notified parents on Tuesday, April 20 that a member of the school community had tested positive for COVID-19. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap Middle School parents notified of new potential COVID-19 exposure dates

April 20 notice says member of school community tested positive for virus

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Virtual meetings are taking a toll on local governance, according to multiple mayors in the North Okanagan. (Headway photo)
Virtual meetings leave North Okanagan politicians out of touch

More than a year of Zoom has led to a disconnect between officials, according to local mayors

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019. (Facebook photo)
Meth, excessive speed found as factors in 2019 Osoyoos boat crash deaths

Nick Trask, 36, and Ryan Ellison, 35, died in a boat collision on Osoyoos Lake in 2019

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
‘I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident wants the Columbia River better protected

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

The City of Penticton is looking into the possibility of licensing certain public spaces to permit alcohol consumption during set hours. The city could see legal public drinking as early as June 5, 2020. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Booze on the beach set to make a comeback in Penticton for summer 2021

Penticton council gave the first three readings to bring back limited public drinking

Most Read