August 31, 2015 - 5:00 PM
PENTICTON - An Oliver hunter will pay a hefty fine and lose his hunting privileges for shooting game out of season.
David Joseph Oscar Martin pled guilty to four counts related to an incident that took place in June 2014, including hunting without a license, hunting out of season, unlawful possession of dead wildlife and knowingly making a false statement.
Crown Prosecutor Nashina Devji told court Martin was hunting out of season when he shot a calf moose in the bush. The calf’s mother refused to leave the downed animal, so Martin dispatched the cow moose as well.
Devji told court not all the meat from the animals was harvested. Martin contacted two other men to help him butcher the carcasses, and when one of the men saw the moose in Martin’s pickup, he contacted the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline.
On June 27, 2014, RCMP executed a search warrant on Martin’s house, recovering meat, camouflage gear, knives and a loaded firearm, improperly stored in the house.
Devji argued public safety and the animal’s value as aggravating factors in the case. She told Judge Meg Shaw public safety was compromised by hunting out of season, putting the public at risk when firearms were being used out of season. She also noted that a value of $4,220 had been attached to the moose.
Devji suggested a fine of between $3,000 - $5,000, a 10-year firearms prohibition, a five-year suspension of Martin’s hunting license, and the forfeiture of Martin’s gun.
Defence council Kathryn Lundman argued a $1,500 - $3,000 fine to be more appropriate, noting Martin’s employment as a construction labourer at $14 per hour. She said the firearms restrictions would not be contested, but Martin would like some items taken from him by police, which included a coat and some knives, returned to him.
Judge Shaw called Martin’s act an “extremely serious offence,” fining him $2,500, to be paid within a year. She also agreed with Crown, handing down a 10-year firearms ban and a five-year hunting suspension. Martin’s gun was also subject to forfeiture and destruction.
None of the parties objected to Martin being allowed to get his coat and knives back from police.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015