Persistence paid off for officers and volunteers who combed the bush
near Athabasca in search of elk carcasses. They came up with two specimens,
and charges were laid for hunting during a closed season and for wastage
of edible meat.
On March 11, after a 27-month expedition through Boyle provincial
court, Darrell Wilmer Quinney, 35, of Spedden, was assessed a $3,000
fine on the two charges and suspended from recreational hunting for
The court heard that on Dec.
30, 2000, Quinney, a Treaty Indian, and two of his partners were
hunting in the Newbrook area. The group came upon a large herd of
elk grazing on private farmland, property to which the three did
not have right of access. Quinney stopped his truck and fired numerous
shots, wounding several elk before the herd scattered. A witness
confronted the men and recorded their licence plate number before
they fled. Quinney and his hunting party made no attempt to look
for or retrieve any of the wounded elk, even though Quinney later
admitted that he "...got one for sure."
The witness immediately reported the incident and assisted officers
in searching for evidence and any sign of wounded animals. Together
they located at least five separate blood trails leading out of the
field. While officers continued their investigation, two local trappers
volunteered spending days combing through dense brush for dead or wounded
elk. Eventually, two elk carcasses were found and a third elk was observed
limping among the herd. Officers later located all three suspects and
laid charges under the Wildlife Act.
All charges against Quinney's hunting party
were withdrawn. However, Quinney stood charged and the trial proceeded.
In addition to the fine and two-year suspension of Quinney's recreational
hunting licence, the seized firearm was forfeited to the Crown.
On April 24, a 30-year-old Bashaw man's entertainment of spearfishing
came to a close and his recreational sportfishing licence was suspended
for two years.
Jeffery Craig Ramstad was convicted in Stettler provincial court
of fishing with a spear using prohibited propulsion and was fined $575.
The court heard that on March 12, conservation officers were working
on Buffalo Lake conducting fisheries patrols. That morning officers
parked their vehicle a distance away from an ice-fishing hut. Upon
approaching this hut, officers observed the door open and then quickly
slammed shut and locked from the inside. Officers identified themselves
and immediately demanded the door be opened. The door was eventually
opened allowing officers to direct the individuals out of the hut.
Among the five individuals in the hut, only two had fishing licences.
Officers did not observe any lines in the water; however, two seven-foot
spears lay on the floor of the hut.
Upon further inspection, two
pike were located and one of them had a hole in its head. Ramstad
admitted to spearfishing and that he had built the spears. Officers
seized a seven-foot spear, two pike and additional equipment related
to the spearfishing activity.
In addition to the fine, Ramstad was issued a Judicial Order pursuant
to Section 79.2 of the Fisheries Act. The order prohibits Ramstad from
holding a recreational sportfishing licence for two years. It goes
further to order that Ramstad cannot occupy any locked or unlocked
structure over ice, cannot possess anything that can be used as a spear
or modified spear and cannot be around persons having these items.
This prohibition will be in effect for the next two years. All items
seized by the officers were forfeited.
We invite wildlife and fisheries
enforcement officers from all jurisdictions to submit current and
significant cases for inclusion in The Notebook segment of the publication.
All details must be accurate public record. Please send case file
details and photographs to:
THE ALBERTA GAME WARDEN
5201 - 50 Avenue
Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada T9A 0S7