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.

  • A big favour to ask: Grande Cache District
  • Bullet to the bow zone: Stony Plain District
  • Officer calls poacher's bluff: Grande Cache District
  • Taking liberties with a moose licence: Grande Prairie District
  • Officer unravels the story: Grande Prairie District
  • Cross-border sting: Blairmore District
  • Party hunt ends with court appearances: Edmonton and Fairview Districts
  • Witnesses turn in poacher: Edmonton District
  • A desperate last day: Fox Creek District 
  • Bow hunter assists in apprehension: Barrhead District
  • Wrong zone: Sundre District
  • A mass of deer: Athabasca District
  • Lynx in cooler: Athabasca District

Cross-border sting: Blairmore District 

     A total of $25,160 in fines was levied in Alberta and British Columbia against three men for their unlawful guiding and hunting activities. Based on information received from concerned members of the public, the Conservation Officer Service in Fernie, BC initiated an investigation with the assistance of the Blairmore office of the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division, the Special Investigations Sections of Alberta and British Columbia, the Canadian Wildlife Service and the RCMP. 

     Officers focused on Clayton Jerry Hobbs, a BC resident, in the spring of 2003 when it was learned that he was offering his services as an angling guide in the Fernie area without being the holder of the required angling guide licence. Undercover officers used Hobb’s services in October of 2003. During a fishing expedition, officers were offered an opportunity to hunt for deer and elk. Another individual Hobbs had employed as a guide took the officers hunting, at which time two wild turkeys were shot out of season. 

     Investigators booked a second fishing and hunting expedition in June of 2004. Hobbs arranged for Shaun Sifton to take the officers bear hunting, but no bears were taken during the hunt. 

     A third hunt was later arranged for September of 2004. Sifton and another person acted as guides for that trip. A bull elk was wounded but not recovered during that four-day hunt. 

     A search warrant was subsequently executed and a variety of firearms and equipment were seized. 

     While completing the initial investigation, authorities learned that Sifton had obtained a variety of Alberta resident hunting licences and had killed an antelope in Alberta in the fall of 2002 while he was a BC resident. On Jan. 31, 2006, in Pincher Creek provincial court, Shaun Curtis Sifton, 28, of Calgary had counsel enter guilty pleas to being a person ineligible to hold a licence, hunting without a guide or person with authorization and hunting wildlife without a licence. As a result, Sifton was handed $4,000 in fines along with a two-year recreational hunting licence suspension. On March 22, 2006, in provincial court in Golden, BC, legal counsel appeared for the three other individuals who were involved and entered guilty pleas. Each was assessed $6,000 in fines plus $900 in surcharges. In addition, Sifton received a $460 fine for unlawfully possessing an imported animal (antelope head) contrary to the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. This Act regulates the possession and importation of all wildlife taken in other provinces or jurisdictions. In BC, licence suspensions are automatic for some offences or are determined by the Director of Wildlife. In the case of the BC residents, suspensions are pending the Director’s decision.

A desperate last day: Fox Creek District

    On Nov. 30, 2005, the last day of the big game hunting season in the Fox Creek area, Fish and Wildlife officers received information on the Report A Poacher hotline late in the afternoon of two persons who were observed standing outside their vehicle with rifles in hand as a wounded antlerless mule deer stood close by. A second call minutes later reported that the men were observed gutting a deer at that location. There was no hunting season for antlerless mule deer in that area at that time. 

     An officer responded and located the suspects as they were leaving the area. The ensuing investigation revealed that the men had killed two antlerless mule deer, both of which were present in the back of their pick-up. The animals were tagged with supplemental antlerless white-tailed deer tags. The licence holder whose tags were attached to the deer indicated that the deer were the first big game animals they had seen in the last few days and neither hunter had killed an animal to that point in the hunting season. Although licence records indicated that they were experienced hunters, both men claimed that they believed the animals were whitetailed deer. 

     Both men were charged under the Wildlife Act and both pled guilty at their first court appearance on January 23, 2006, in Fox Creek. Laszlo Kormendi was fined $805 for hunting antlerless mule deer without a licence. Krzystof Zontek was fined $575 for unlawful possession of antlerless mule deer. Both received a one-year recreational hunting licence suspension. 

We invite wildlife and fisheries enforcement officers 
from all jurisdictions to submit current and significant
 cases for inclusion in The Notebook segment of 
this publication. Details of case files can be sent to: 


Jeremy Lindsay, Box 690 
Smoky Lake, AB T0A 3C0 

All details must be accurate public record. 
Photos are welcome.