Listed below are only two concluded court cases from the "online" officer's notebook. If you would like to read all the wildlife and fisheries investigations and the final outcome of the court cases be sure to pickup your Alberta Game Warden magazine at your favorite bookstore. Or better yet, purchase a yearly subscription so you won't miss an issue.

  • Closed season deer - Rocky Mountain House District
  • Officers uncover the real story - Rocky Mountain House District
  • Conspiracy to launder elk - Rocky Mountain House District
  • Metis Hunter charged - Spirit River District
  • A user and resource abuser - Wetaskiwin District
  • Violators story leads to conviction - Barrhead District
  • Poaching sends man to jail - Vanderhoof, British Columbia
  • No excuse for over-limit - Bonnyville District
  • Jumping the gun - Grande Prairie District
  • Advice from court - Lac La Biche District

Report-A-Poacher Dial 1-800-642-3800

Metis hunter charged – Spirit River District

While on patrol on Sept. 5, 1998, an officer observed a vehicle parked beside a dugout in the Saddle Hills. The driver, Derrick Bode, 28, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, stated that he was hunting and that he had killed a mule deer buck. The passenger, Lucien St. Hilaire, of Grande Prairie, Alberta, stated he was only assisting with the hunt. When asked to produce a hunting licence, Bode stated he did not have, nor did he need one. Instead, he produced a Citizen of the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan card. Bode was advised that in Alberta, Metis people are required to be properly licenced in accordance with provincial legislation if they are hunting outside the boundaries of their Metis Settlement.

Both Bode and St. Hilaire were jointly charged for hunting during a closed season and unlawful possession of wildlife. Although Bode had indicated to officers that he would be taking his fight to the Supreme Court of Canada, on Feb. 12, 1999, in Grande Prairie provincial court, he entered a plea of guilty to unlawful possession of wildlife. Although Bode received a $920 fine, a request was not made by the Crown to suspend his Alberta hunting licence and because the automatic suspension is no longer in legislation, it was not ordered by the judge.

A user and resource abuser – Wetaskiwin District

On Sept. 16, 1998, a Wetaskiwin Fish and Wildlife officer received a call from a treaty Indian person who had recently been involved in illegal hunting activities with another person.

An officer interviewed her and learned that in July of 1998, she had met a man by the name of John Bruce Gates, 33, of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. Gates, an avid hunter, quickly convinced the woman that because she was a treaty Indian, they could go out hunting at any time and not have to abide by the law. Gates tested the waters in July 1998 when he and the woman drove to the Caroline area, south of Rocky Mountain House, and Gates shot and killed a white-tailed deer from the vehicle.

In August 1998, Gates and the complainant returned to the Caroline area at which time he illegally killed a mule deer.

During the September long weekend in 1998, Gates and the woman returned to the Caroline area, at which time he illegally killed a small black bear; shot and wounded a bull moose (which was never located) and shot and killed another mule deer.

On Sept. 17, following the interview with the woman, the officer attended Gates? residence. Gates confirmed all of the kills but claimed the woman killed them all. Gates produced the black bear hide upon request from the officer. It was found in the back of the yard, having been dragged around by neighborhood dogs. It had obviously spoiled.

During subsequent investigation, the officer learned that the native woman was never a hunter, nor had she ever shown any interest in participating in any kind of hunting activity. Based on this information, charges were sworn against Gates.

On Aug. 3, 1999, Gates appeared in Wetaskiwin provincial court and pled guilty to six counts under the Wildlife Act: discharging a firearm from a vehicle (in relation to the white-tailed deer); unlawful possession of the white-tailed deer; three counts of hunting during a closed season (one for each of the mule deer and one for the moose); and allowing the skin of a black bear to be wasted. He was sentenced to pay a fine of $3,500 and forfeit his recreational hunting licence for a period of three years.

We invite wildlife and fisheries enforcement officers from all jurisdictions to submit current and significant cases for inclusion in the Game Warden's Notebook segment of the publication. All details must be accurate public record. Please send the details and photographs of case files to:

c/o Jason Hanson
211 Provincial Building
Camrose, Alberta, Canada T4V 1P6