Road warrior almost shoots himself in foot - Medicine Hat
While on patrol east of Medicine Hat, a wildlife officer activated his emergency overhead lights and prepared for a head-on stop of a vehicle. Just before the vehicle passed the marked Fish and Wildlife patrol unit, a loud bang was heard and the cab of the vehicle immediately filled with dust and smoke while steam began to roll out from under the hood.
The officer cautiously approached the vehicle and observed the passenger still working the bolt of his rifle, attempting to extract all live ammunition. When the driver rolled down his window, smoke and dust billowed from the cab. Both occupants of the vehicle were coughing, wide-eyed and could barely understand what the officer was saying.
William Griffin admitted to attempting to unload his gun when it went off. The muzzle was down and the bullet went through the floor of the truck, hit a shock and went through the radiator. Griffin was issued a specified penalty of $172 for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle.
First Prosecution under new law - Watson Lake, Yukon Territory
A British Columbia man has been fined a total of $5,000 after pleading guilty to unlawfully killing a moose in the Yukon.
Robert John Sandbach was charged under the Yukon Wildlife Act and Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPRIITA). He pleaded guilty to two counts under the Yukon Wildlife Act and one count under WAPRIITA on January 14, 1998, in Watson Lake court.
This marks the first time that Section 7(2) of the WAPRIITA legislation has been successfully prosecuted in Canada. This relatively new federal legislation has enabled wildlife officials to more effectively deal with wildlife crime.
The charges came after Sandbach unlawfully killed a moose in the Yukon, after getting a Yukon Resident Hunting License by providing false information, and subsequently transporting the moose from the Yukon to British Columbia in September, 1997.
Territorial court Judge Faulkner imposed fines of $500 for a non-resident obtaining a resident hunting license, $1,500 for unlawful hunting and $3,000 for inter-provincial transport of unlawfully taken wildlife.
Sandbach also received an automatic hunting license cancellation and was prohibited from obtaining a hunting license for the 1998 season. The moose meat and antlers were forfeited.
The prosecution was a joint investigation between Yukon conservation officers and federal game officers of Environment Canada.