The carcass of a male black bear, with its paws and head removed, was discovered last week by several dog walkers under power lines on Corcan Road near the Meadowood subdivision in Qualicum Beach.
The incident is now under investigation by the BC Conservation Officer Service.
Stuart Bates, acting sergeant for the Central Island, said calls about the black bear began coming in on Oct. 25 and an officer was sent to the scene on Oct.26 to remove the average-sized carcass.
Bates said the head of the bear was skinned out.
“The hide part of the head was still attached to the rest of the hide but the head was gone,” Bates said.
Bates said he has no idea what a hunter would do with these parts of a bear, except possibly clean up the skull and salvage the claws.
Conservation officers are confident the bear was killed elsewhere and dumped on Corcan Road.
“When the officer was there [the bear] had several days of decomposition but was only there for a day,” Bates said. “And the fact that it was laying on a sheet of plywood is kind of a dead give away. It didn’t get shot there and conveniently fall on a sheet of plywood.”
Bates said hunters are legally required to remove all the edible portions from animals that they harvest.
“They have to remove all the meat — the legs, the meat along the back, the rib meat and the neck meat. You have to remove that to your home or a butcher,” he said.
Bear hunting season on Vancouver Island runs until Dec. 10.
It is illegal, Bates added, to dump or leave attractants that could invite dangerous wildlife to an area frequented by humans.
‘“Whether you dump a bear carcass or a bucket of apples at a location that’s frequented by people, you could still be charged,” he said. “There are bears in towns right now, they’re literally trying to eat 20,000 calories a day. I’ve seen them eat enough rotten apples to get drunk.”
Bates urges anyone with information on who may be involved in dumping the bear carcass to call the R.A.P.P line at 1-877-952-7277.
“We hope somebody comes forward that actually seen the vehicle that dumped it. We’re presuming it was a pickup,”Bates said. “We did take DNA samples so if we do find the parts that are missing we will be able to match them.”