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.

  • Charges for keeping lynx as pet - Barrhead District
  • Father and son picked up for illegal deer - Barrhead District
  • American arrested for killing sow black bear - Fort McMurray District
  • Deer to small to tag - Vegreville District
  • Illegal cougar snares opportunist - Calgary District
  • Guilty plea for illegal moose kill - Ghost District
  • Guide guilty for client's illegal hunt - Vegreville District
  • Poacher receives fine and probation - Whitecourt District
  • $20,000 in fines for Shell in polution conviction
  • History repeats itself as party hunt lands group in court - Whitecourt District
  • Hawk shooter recieves fine - Hanna District
  • Lakeland judge nails fish trafficer - Lac La Biche District

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

History repeats itself as party hunt lands group in court - Wetaskiwin District

A history of hunting violations caught up to a Wetaskiwin man once again this year. Editor’s note: this earlier case file is part of an ongoing story..

On Dec. 1, 1985, a Wetaskiwin fish and wildlife officer received a complaint from a person who had found three dead bull moose in a farmer’s field near Hay Lakes, northwest of Camrose. As there were very few moose in that area, there was no open season for moose at all. Officers patrolled to the area and located the three dead bull moose laying in close proximity to one another. None of the animals had been dressed, and all were bloated and spoiled.

The ensuing investigation revealed that Alvin Metzker, 46, of Gwynne, had been hunting with two other men on the morning of Nov. 30, 1985. Metzker stated that all three moose were killed by one of the other hunters when they were chased out of a bush into an open field. Metzker admitted that after the shooting was done, he observed one of the injured moose struggling to stand up. Only because the moose was badly injured and was suffering, Metzker shot twice at the animal, killing it. The three men then fled the scene, leaving all three moose to spoil where they lay. No attempts were made by any of the men to salvage the meat or contact the authorities to report the matter.

On Dec. 30, 1985, Metzker plead guilty to three counts of allowing the edible flesh of a big game animal to be wasted and was fined a total of $750.

In January, 1999 a conservation officer stationed in Wetaskiwin received a public complaint about two moose that had been illegally killed northeast of Hay Lakes. The complainant stated that he was present when the violation was committed, and explained to the officer what had occurred during the morning of Nov. 11, 1998.

The complainant recalled the event in detail and stated that he and three other men: Jason Brunett, 25, of Edmonton, William Rost, 63, of Hay Lakes, Alvin Metzker, (now) 60, of Gwynne, were all hunting in an area northeast of Hay Lakes. As the complainant sat in his truck having a cup of coffee, his attention was caught by Jason Brunett waiving his coat in the air. Brunett met up with the complainant and advised him that he had just shot two moose, a cow and a calf. Brunett did not possess a special moose licence for the area and was hunting deer when he came upon the moose. Brunett however, was aware that Metzker and the complainant did have moose licences. The moose were eventually located by all four members of the hunting party who then discussed what to do with the dead animals. In the end it was decided that the moose would not be left to waste. The animals were taken from the field to Metzker’s residence where they were dressed, skinned and butchered.

On Apr. 13, 1999, conservation officers executed search warrants at the residences of Metzker, and Rost. Two rifles and more than 300 packages of meat were seized from the residences. Charges were laid against the three men and on Nov. 29, 1999, they appeared in Wetaskiwin provincial court and plead guilty to a total of four charges. Alvin Metzker and William Rost plead guilty to unlawful possession of wildlife, and Judge D. J. Plosz ordered each to pay a fine of $1,150. Jason Brunett plead guilty to two counts of hunting wildlife without a licence and received a total fine of $2,300. The remaining charges were withdrawn.

Hawk shooter receives fine - Hanna District

A man who tried to explain away the shooting of two Swainsons hawks, didn’t get far before a Hanna provincial court judge handed down a $2,300 fine.

On Sept. 22, 1999, Raymond Abram of Endiang attempted to explain the rationale behind the shooting of the birds to Judge G.W. Clozza. The explanation fell on deaf ears as the judge levied the fine and suspended Abram’s privilege to hold a recreational hunting licence for a period of a two years.

An investigation was initiated on May 20, 1999 after reports were received at both the Stettler and Hanna Natural Resources Service district offices. The complainant advised officers that two hawks were killed illegally and identified the area where they were killed. The complainant also provided a licence plate of the suspect vehicle. Upon arriving at the kill site and conducting a thorough search, officers located two dead Swainsons Hawks, and two spent 12 gauge shotgun shells

Officers reached Raymond Abram’s residence prior to his returning home and intercepted him before he entered into his residence. A 12 gauge semi-automatic Berretta shotgun and a box containing some shotgun shells were seized from Abram’s vehicle.

The two hawks were submitted to the forensic lab in order to determine the exact species, cause of death, and to recover any shot left in the dead birds for possible ballistics analysis.

The seized shotgun was submitted to the RCMP Crime Laboratory – Firearms Section, for the purpose of matching evidence seized at the kill sites with the firearm and shotgun shells seized from Abram. The forensic analysis obtained from both laboratories confirmed that Abram’s shotgun was used to kill the two hawks.

Conservation officers receive a seemingly unlimited number of injured, orphaned, or abandoned wildlife every year. A large number of these animals can be rehabilitated and are taken to one of the non profit rehabilitation centers. A creative sentencing request was made by the investigating officer, and was brought forward by the prosecutor assigned to the case. Judge Clozza agreed to direct the payment of the $2,000 fine to two rehabilitation centers, the Alberta Birds of Prey Center in Coaldale and the Medicine River Rehabilitation Center near Red Deer.

The remaining $300 accounts for the 15 per cent surcharge that is tacked on to the assessed fines. This money cannot be reallocated, as can the actual fines levied.

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