Small fines for bighorn sheep poachers in Alberta

Written by on October 25, 2015 in Critter Crimes - No comments

Five men have been fined a total of $24,500 for killing and abandoning four bighorn sheep in northern Alberta, the province has announced.

The men pleaded guilty in Hinton Provincial Court to 11 offences under the Wildlife Act and have also been slapped with a one-year ban to their hunting licences.

“All four Trophy Rams including the head and meat were left to spoil,” Fish and Wildlife officials said in a statement.

The case dates back to Aug. 31, 2013 when provincial wildlife officers received a tip of trespassing and hunting within the boundaries of the Gregg River Mineral Surface lease, a mine site, just north of Cadomin. The area has closed to hunting and trespassing for three decades.

bighornsheeptransfer

Bighorn sheep populate an abandoned mine site in Cadomin, Alberta

The Fish and Wildlife Officer found a vehicle and five men, who tried to mislead the official; denying they were shooting anything in the area.

“DNA samples were recovered and subsequent investigation uncovered the fact that the five men had killed and abandoned four Trophy Bighorn Rams within the boundaries of the mine site,” the government said.

While people applauded the convictions, others said the punishment didn’t go far enough.

Tyler S Humphries was among many animal lovers who posted concerns to the government’s Facebook page:

“It is unbelievable!!the fines?? they killed 4 trophy rams and the fines are less then 25000$ all together and only a year suspension… meanwhile a trophy bighorn hunt goes for like 30000$ seems like a no brainer for them poaching needs to be treated according life bans for such defiant acts should be the minimum these guys never change its a guarantee they will be back out there committing the same offenses again I feel bad for our wildlife.”

The Sylvan Lake, Alberta men convicted are:

  • Timothy Yach for hunting during a closed season, abandoning flesh of a big game animal and lying to a wildlife officer. Fine: $6,000 and one-year hunting licence suspension.
  • Matthew Lecerf for hunting during a closed season, abandoning flesh of a big game animal and lying to a wildlife officer. Fine: $6,000 and a one-year hunting licence suspension.
  • Anthony Yach for hunting during a closed season. Fine: $2,500 and a one-year hunting licence suspension.
  • Tyler Yach for hunting during a closed season and abandoning flesh of a big game animal. Fine: $5,000 and a one-year hunting licence suspension.
  • Seth Gould for hunting during a closed season and abandoning flesh of a big game animal. Fine: $5,000 and a one-year hunting licence suspension.

Of the fines, $7,500 will be set aside for the government’s Forensic and DNA Research Program, while another $6,000 will go to the Provincial Aerial Ungulate Survey Program.

Photos Alberta Fish and Wildlife/Facebook

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