Invermere deer advocate charged in Kimberley trap tampering incident

Devin Kazakoff of the Invermere Deer Protection Society was released from custody in Cranbrook on Feb. 27

Devin Kazakoff, a founder of the Invermere Deer Protection Society, is one of two men charged over allegations of deer trap tampering in Kimberley last week.

Kazakoff and another man, Lucky Gene Sikora, appeared before a Judicial Justice of the Peace in Cranbrook on Thursday, Feb. 27 on charges of mischief, and disguising the face with intent to commit an offence.

They were released from custody and will next appear in Cranbrook Criminal Court on May 20 to consult legal counsel.

According to RCMP, two men were arrested early on Feb. 27 after they were observed damaging a deer trap in Kimberley and fleeing the scene on foot and then in a vehicle.

Police tracked the vehicle to a side road south of Kimberley and took the two men into custody.

A police dog found netting from traps nearby, and a search of the vehicle found items police believe were used to tamper with the traps. Four traps in total were damaged.

Kazakoff’s Invermere Deer Protection Society sued the District of Invermere in 2012, claiming that council failed to properly consult residents before deciding to carry out a deer cull.

The civil suit was defeated in B.C. Supreme Court last November. That same month, Invermere voted to go ahead with deer culls in a referendum, with 74 per cent in favour of the deer management strategy.

The Invermere Deer Protection Society is a member of the B.C. Deer Protection Coalition, which has been outspoken against culls in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Invermere. The Animal Alliance of Canada is also a member of the Coalition.

Earlier this month, 10 clover traps were stolen from a government compound in Cranbrook. Police found seven of the traps in bush nearby but six had been destroyed in a fire. Three remain missing. No arrests have been made in the Feb. 9 incident.

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