Alberta
Officer’s relentless search for an answer haults deer poacher

On December 14, 2011, a Fairview district area man appeared in Fairview provincial court facing charges under the Wildlife Act and the Wildlife Regulations. As a result of a joint submission that was accepted, the accused pled guilty to five of the seven charges which included: 2 counts of hunting without a licence, providing false or misleading information, holding a licence while ineligible, and failing to retain evidence of sex/species on an animal carcass. The accused received fines that totalled $5060 and in addition received a 2 year recreational hunting licence suspension in Alberta.

The court heard that a Fish and Wildlife officer conducting hunter compliance checks initiated a vehicle stop. After confirming the occupant of the vehicle had been hunting, the officer conducted a firearms safety inspection and found the firearm to be loaded. While having a brief conversation with the occupants, the officer learned that earlier that day the accused had shot and killed a two-point antlered mule deer in Wildlife Management Unit 526 without a licence. Upon making additional inquiries the officer it was revealed that the accused had never completed a hunter education course nor had he passed a first time hunter exam which would allow him to hunt in Alberta.

The deer was later inspected at a yard site and it was determined that the accused had removed the head and tail from the carcass so that the officer could not readily determine the species of the carcass. The carcass was tagged with a general mule deer tag which was not valid for the area in which the deer was harvested. Officers later verified that the accused had initially claimed the loaded firearm as his in order to protect one of the other occupants of the vehicle who had just shot a deer illegally prior to the initial check. The accused was later re-interviewed as a result of an ongoing investigation into several shot and left deer. At this time the accused admitted to shooting another mule deer in WMU 526 without a licence.

Throughout this investigation it was determined that the accused did not only kill two deer illegally, but it was also learned that he was with a group of individuals when they had illegally killed and/or wasted approximately ten additional deer between Sept 19, 2011 and October 06, 2011.

In addition further inquiries revealed that the accused held two Wildlife Identification Numbers which allowed him to purchase two general mule deer licences in an attempt to cover off the illegal killing of his deer.


British Columbia
B.C. man catches up on 17 year old unpaid fine

On August 25, 2011 in a unique plea agreement with crown prosecutors, a British Columbia man agreed to pay outstanding fines from a 17 year old Wildlife Act conviction.  The case began back in 1994 when the man was convicted of numerous hunting offences under the Wildlife Act of British Columbia.  The original case related to the illegal killing of an elk in an incident near Cranbrook. After a lengthy trial the accused was sentenced to pay $3880 in fines and was issued a hunting suspension.  The man’s hunting and fishing privileges remained suspended for the next 17 years due to his refusal to pay the fines assigned by the courts. Under section 85 of the British Columbia Wildlife Act all licences and permits are automatically cancelled if fines remain outstanding.

In 2009, a Conservation Officer located a vehicle stopped on the side of the road. Upon speaking to the driver a great deal of shuffling about was observed and the very same male was located with an open can of “Lucky” beer hidden behind the seat.  A violation ticket was issued by the officer for the offence. Once the violation was entered onto the computer system it became apparent that the male had been purchasing fishing licences despite his suspension.
A review of Provincial angling records indicated that on May 2, 2010 a Provincial Non-tidal Fishing licence had been purchased from a Prince George vendor.

The male disputed the violation ticket and appeared for court and was convicted for the open liquor violation. While leaving the court house the Conservation Officer then served the male an Appearance Notice for obtaining licences while fines were outstanding. 

In a plea agreement with the prosecutor the accused paid his $3880 in outstanding fines dating back to his 1994 conviction. The one count under the Wildlife Act of obtaining a licence while fines remain unpaid was stayed.



Manitoba
Turkey killers tracked down by landowner

Three southeast Manitoba men recently appeared in a provincial court room to answer to a total of 25 charges as a result of their participation in illegally hunting and harvesting game and migratory birds.

After entering guilty pleas to several charges that included hunting with no licenses, discharge a firearm from a vehicle, hunt on private land, and shoot migratory bird with centrefire firearm; the three accused received global penalties of $7250. In addition to the fines, each accused received a one year recreational hunting license suspension.

The court heard that on Thanksgiving day, officers had received a call from a member of the public advising that three men had just been caught hunting on private property without permission.  Furthermore the three accused were now being held at the Sprague RCMP detachment until NRO’s would arrive. Once there NRO’s were able to identify the accused and seize two firearms that were found in their possession at the time of the investigation.

After gathering additional information from witnesses, officers invited the three accused to provide voluntary statements, in which time they agreed to do so. Officers learned that prior to illegally shooting the turkeys on private land, they had harvested ruffed grouse and geese that morning. Five ruffed grouse, two geese along with three additional firearms were located several miles north of Sprague along a rural municipal road. It was learned that these items were hidden there by the accused while being chased by one of the witnesses. All items were seized by officers along with 590 rounds of ammunition.

The following day while continuing with their investigation, officers located a dead turkey at the offence location. While gathering the carcass, the officer also retrieved a spent 12 gauge shell nearby. 

The evidence gathered with the assistance of witnesses shut the door on this case of senseless illegal activity.


Yukon
Jail time for wasting moose meat

This past December a Beaver Creek man appeared in Territorial court to answer to a charge of allowing waste of big game meat. The accused entered a guilty plea and as a result was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

It was heard that back in late July 2010, a subsistence hunter in the small village of Beaver Creek in western Yukon harvested a cow Moose, but the following day gave the meat to another individual in the community. That person subsequently did not adequately care for the meat and as a result it did not take long to spoil in the warm summer heat. After almost a week, the meat smelt so bad that other concerned residents hauled the meat to the local landfill so that it would not attract other wildlife into the community. Conservation Officers were soon alerted to the wasted Moose meat that now lay in the dump.

Conservation Officers from the Haines Junction district conducted an investigation into the matter. It was determined that most of the meat from this Moose had been wasted, and that the person who had been gifted the meat was the one who was responsible for it becoming spoiled.



Saskatchewan
Burning of hazardous materials results in fines

In April 2009 conservation officers from Pinehouse received information that hazardous materials were being burned at an exploration camp in Northern Saskatchewan. Officers examined exploration permits and found who the temporary work camp was registered to. Officers contacted the staff at this camp and learned that the entire work camp, including eleven structures were set on fire and destroyed.

The reason the camp was set on fire was to reduce the cost of demobilization as required by the permit. Officers chartered a plane and flew to the lake where the camp had been located to confirm the allegation. The flight confirmed that the camp had been destroyed by fire so officers landed at the location to examine what was left of the structures and collect evidence.

Evidence collected included burnt items such as Styrofoam, electrical wire, oil filters, batteries, metals screws and cans, light bulbs and remnants of poly tarps. Conservation officers took statements from employees who were responsible for igniting the camp. The company was issued an order to clean up the site of all debris and remains from the burning. The uranium company was charged with eight violations including failing to comply with camp permit conditions, two counts under the Clean Air Act and an Environmental Management Protection Act charge. The company plead guilty to one count of failing to comply with the permit conditions and was assessed a fine of $85,676. Of that penalty, $11,000 was donated to SASKTIP, $7,676 went to restitution and the remaining $56,000 was payable to the crown.

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