Dozens of Deer Heads and Animal Hides Stolen During Break-In

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Earlier this month, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) responded to a break-in at a remote cabin in Fort St. John, British Columbia. After entering the kicked-down rear door, the officers found numerous items missing from the residence, including 14 sets of whitetail and mule deer antlers, one cinnamon-colored black bear hide, one grey wolf hide, one mountain goat hide, and a box of .22 ammo. According to an RCMP press release, the officers are now seeking the public’s help in retrieving the stolen taxidermy.

In the press release, Const. Chad Neustaeter of Fort St John RCMP said that the hides and the antlers “represent years of hunts and fond memories to the family” who owns the cabin. The statement goes on to urge Fort St. John locals to be on the lookout for who anyone who “has a new collection of antlers and hides or is trying to sell some.”

Cinnamon phase black bear hide.
A cinnamon-phase black bear hide that was taken from the cabin. RCMP.

A local outfitter who’s been guiding hunters in northern B.C. for 25 years told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that it’s hard to measure the value of such a collection. “It’s got to be devastating … because some of these collections have been worked on over a lifetime,” Scott Pichette told CBC. “You don’t just go and get one of these animals every year. Some people work at it for years and years and years.”

Black Bear Hunting photo
A grey wolf hide, also stolen from the remote B.C. cabin.

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Antler heists like this aren’t unique to Canada. As value and demand for deer and elk antlers has skyrocketed in United States in recent years, theft of the hard-won trophies has increased right along with it—particularly in Alaska and the intermountain West.

In October 2022, thieves stole a trophy-sized elk skull from a hunters backyard in Lander, Wyoming, and last August, a man was fined a whopping $5,000 for illegally collecting shed antlers in Grand Teton National Park. The RCMP says that anyone with details about the recent antler theft in B.C. should call the Fort St John RCMP at 250-787-8100.



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