Included below are 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 pick up your Alberta Game Warden magazine at your favorite bookstore. Or better yet, purchase a yearly subscription so you won't miss an issue.

  • Dummy Deer Too Real: Sundre District
  • Stakeout gets results: Sundre District
  • Poacher nabbed for leaving deer: Swan Hills District
  • Man fined for illegally marketing fish: Southampton, Ontario
  • What a waste: Smoky Lake District
  • Officers sort things out: Rocky Mountain House District
  • Poachers pay for easy shots: Rocky Mountain House District
  • Arrow or bullet?: Rocky Mountain House District
  • Family excursion bags sheep poacher: Hinton District
  • Misguided deer killing: Evansburg District
  • Moose killer lands in court: Edson District
  • Case file update: Fort Vermilion District
  • Officers know the hiding spots: Bonnyville District
  • Poachers waste undersized California Bighorn: Williams Lake District, BC
  • Moose killer caught: Chapleau District, ON
  • Anglers caught hiding fish: Evansburg District
Report-A-Poacher Dial 1-800-642-3800

Dummy Deer Too Real: Sundre District

Two Calgary men appeared in Didsbury provincial court on Dec. 10, 2002, to each answer to a charge under the Wildlife Act.

Jeff F. Koch, 32, and Jeffery Woodhouse, 34, each entered guilty pleas to hunting wildlife during a closed season and each were assessed $1,500 in fines. The court heard that through the fall of 2001, Sundre conservation officers received numerous complaints of antlerless white-tailed deer being shot during the closed season in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 318. The season for antlerless white-tailed deer in this WMU fell between Nov. 1, 2002, and Nov. 7, 2002.

As a result enforcement personnel from surrounding districts met on Nov. 9, 2002, to conduct an operation with the use of a decoy deer. The surrogate was placed 20 kilometres within WMU 318 and made to appear as an antlerless white-tailed deer. On this date both accused stopped and shot at the decoy.

In an interesting order requested by the Crown, both accused were ordered to pay $1,300 to the Alberta Conservation Association. Funds were directed for the purpose of promoting the proper management and control or conservation and protection of wildlife or their habitats, including repair and replacement of equipment related to surrogate enforcement programs.

A third man from Sundre will appear for trial on April 11, 2003, in Didsbury provincial court.

Poachers waste undersized California Bighorn: Williams Lake District, British Columbia

Poachers who shot an undersized bighorn sheep near Williams Lake, BC and left it to waste were fined $9,000 for the crime.

David Kim Aliprandini, of Surrey, B.C. and Randy Allan Ovens, of Langley, B.C. were both charged with two counts under the British Columbia Wildlife Act for hunting California Bighorn Sheep during the closed season and failing to report the killing of an illegal 3/4 curl California Bighorn Sheep.

On Oct. 30, 2002, both men plead guilty to failing to report the killing of an illegal 3/4 curl California Bighorn Sheep. Honourable Judge Buller Bennett of the New Westminster courthouse sentenced Aliprandini to a $5,000, fine of which $4000 was ordered payable to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Ovens was sentenced to a $4,000 fine, of which $3000 was ordered payable to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. In addition to the court-imposed fines the Deputy Director of the Wildlife Branch said he would consider hunting and firearm licence cancellations. Provisions within the Wildlife Act allow the Deputy Director to impose hunting and firearm licence cancellations of up to 30 years.

The incident took place during the evening hours of Oct. 18, 2000, when the Williams Lake Conservation Officer Service received a report from the public concerning a 3/4 curl California Bighorn ram that had been illegally shot and left. The ram was shot off the banks of the Fraser River within Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 5-03, located 60 km southwest of Williams Lake. This area at the time had an open Full Curl California Bighorn Sheep hunting season.

A jet boat and then helicopter were successfully utilized to locate the ram. An investigation of the kill site revealed the evidence officers needed to execute search warrants at the residences of the two suspects. Additional evidence was then collected and seized. When the suspects were confronted, both admitted to their involvement.

It was determined that the men had initially spotted a band of five rams upslope on a bench off the river. They studied the largest ram at 300 yards with their rifle scopes and field binoculars for close to two minutes. The ram was on a 45-degree upward slope and it was mutually agreed the ram was large enough. The ram was subsequently shot by both men. The sheep was approached and it was determined that it was only a 3/4 curl. After discussing the matter it was decided not to report the incident and the ram was left to waste in the field.

Since 1994, California Bighorn Sheep along Churn Creek and Fraser River areas have been the subject of a study by BC's wildlife branch. Through this study 30 to 40 radio-collared sheep have been intensively monitored. Inventory data indicates that overall ram ratios for the Churn/Fraser herds have substantially declined from approximately 50 rams/100 ewes in 1985/89 surveys to 1998 levels of less than 20 rams/100 ewes.

The decline is attributed to low recruitment rates in combination with high adult mortality rates from both natural (disease and predation) and human causes. All British Columbians can assist in protecting provincial wildlife and habitat by reporting violations to their local Conservation Officer Service, or call the Observe, Record and Report toll free number at 1-800-663-WILD (9453).

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:

Jason Hanson
5201 - 50 Avenue
Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada T9A 0S7