By Cam Fortems
Kamloops This Week
A hunter from Burnaby convicted of killing a moose out of season and then abandoning it has filed an appeal in B.C. Supreme Court.
Xin Xiao was found guilty after a trial on three charges under the Wildlife Act — hunting out of season, possession of an animal and abandoning an animal.
His co-accused, Wei Li, was acquitted on all charges.
Defence lawyer Kevin Walker said an appeal has been filed and it is expected to be heard in the spring.
The Crown’s case was built on circumstantial evidence.
Two deer hunters came across a dead bull moose at a spur road in the Nicola Valley near Merritt in October 2013. They testified that, when they returned to the same logging road later, they saw two Asian men with a Ford Raptor truck backed up to the moose.
One of the deer hunters said the pair appeared to be using a winch to get the moose — not yet field dressed or gutted — into the truck.
A surveillance camera at a gas station in Merritt recorded Xiao and Li the morning before the moose was found.
Food and gas receipts from Merritt the day before were also found inside the Ford pickup.
“I don’t believe a third party killed the moose and Mr. Xiao came upon the moose and decided to take it,” Judge Chris Cleaveley said in his decision.
Xiao, 49, had a “much stronger connection to the Ford Raptor,” Cleaveley said.
Inside that pickup, registered to a woman from Vancouver, they found Xiao’s Canadian passport, as well as a wallet with his driver’s and hunting licences and credit cards.
Conservation officers used DNA to link the moose to blood found on a jacket in the truck.
Cleaveley found it was Xiao’s jacket.
Xiao was fined about $8,500, with $4,000 of that going to the provincial Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Those penalties are expected to be placed on hold pending outcome of the appeal.
The civil forfeiture office also applied successfully to have the Ford Raptor sold, with half the $48,000 proceeds going to the Crown.