The Official magazine of Western Canada's Game Warden Associations
Spring 2011 Issue

TAKEDOWN TALES

ALBERTA JUDGE SENDS CLEAR MESSAGE TO TWO
ONTARIO RESIDENTS CAUGHT POACHING
.

        In June, 2010, two Ontario residents appeared in a provincial courtroom alongside their legal counsel to answer to numerous charges under the Alberta Wildlife Act.  As a result of a joint submission that was accepted, the first accused pled guilty to 6 of the 10 counts which included; allow a persons license to be carried or used by another person, use the license of another person, hunt without a license, 2 counts of unlawful possession of wildlife, non-resident hunt without being accompanied by guide.  As a result, the accused was handed fines that tallied $7, 500 and in addition received a 4 year recreational hunting license suspension in Alberta.

            The second accused entered guilty pleas to 5 of the 11 counts against him which also included; obtain or apply for a license while ineligible, allow a persons license to be carried or used by another person, 2 counts of unlawful possession of wildlife, and non-resident hunt without being accompanied by a guide.  The accused was assessed fines that totaled $6,000 and received a 3 year recreational hunting license suspension in Alberta.

             Money previously paid during a Judicial Interim Release Hearing after the pair's arrest by Wildlife Officers in September, 2009, was immediately applied to the $15,500 global fine with no further time to pay being granted. As part of the agreement, the truck, archery equipment, and cameras seized during the investigation were returned to the men. All illegally harvested wildlife including 2 Elk, 1 Moose, and 1 Mule Deer were ordered forfeited to the Crown and distributed within the community. An additional count under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act was also withdrawn. The Honourable Judge commented that," these fines are significant and should be a deterrent for those that want to be loose and free with hunting licenses in this province".

            The investigation resulted from a public complaint to the Grande Prairie Fish and Wildlife Office in September 2009, reporting that the two men were illegally hunting under the Hunter Host License system and illegally harvesting wildlife. Further investigation revealed that both Elk were shot without licenses and then illegally tagged. The Hunter Host License allows a Non-Resident or Non-Resident Alien (Hunter) to legally hunt in Alberta while accompanied by a Resident (Host). This requirement is in place to ensure that hunters from outside of Alberta are accompanied by someone who knows and understands the hunting regulations and ensures they are followed.

            In this case, one of the men represented himself as an Alberta resident and illegally obtained a Hunter Host License that his partner subsequently associated his illegally obtained licenses too, thereby reflecting the appearance of being properly licensed. A third individual was also charged in relation to this investigation and entered guilty pleas to 2 counts under the Wildlife Act in December, 2009, in a provincial courtroom. The Alberta man was fined $2,000 and suspended from holding a recreational hunting license in Alberta for 1 year.

            The Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division strongly encourages members of the public to come forward with information pertaining to incidents of poaching that violate Alberta's fish and wildlife regulations. Information provided resulting in charges being sworn is eligible for a cash reward from the Alberta Report A Poacher Program at 1-800-642-3800. Callers may remain anonymous.

 

Takedown

Hunting equipment, a vehicle and wildlife seized by Grande Prairie Fish and Wildlife officers.


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