Brodie Frehlich had parked his Volkswagen Golf on a logging road and headed up Mount Arrowsmith with his girlfriend on an overnight trip on Friday.
But when they came down Saturday morning, they quickly realized they would not be driving the car home.
"Came down the corner off the trail onto the road, and I kind of noticed my tires were flat ... the windows were smashed out and then I saw there was a bullet hole on the body of the car," he said.
Frehlich says he also found half a dozen .22-calibre shell casings on the ground.
"Kind of shocking ... there were some items in the car they could have stolen but didn't," he said.
"Whoever it was, it just makes me wonder why under any circumstances someone would do that sort of thing. It's just kind of mindless," he said.
Police on Vancouver Island often receive reports of vandalism and theft targeting hikers' cars, but Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan says this case is different.
"To have one shot up, that's the unusual piece, right. Usually there's a window broken, things taken from within, but this was just malicious vandalism."
With no witnesses, Allen says police can only hope someone will come forward and call Crimestoppers.
For his part, Frehlich says it could have been much worse.
"You know it potentially could have been pretty dangerous, like what if there was someone sleeping in the car, or what if we had come down while this was happening?"
Frehlich also posted a tribute to his car on Facebook, writing: "You were a good car, Wesley Otto Frehlich. I'm sorry things had to end with you being gunned down by cowards in the night."