Kamloops hunter who lied about trophy sheep kill loses appeal to get licence back | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops hunter who lied about trophy sheep kill loses appeal to get licence back

A Dall Sheep (Ovis dalli) is pictured at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, Alaska.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
January 08, 2020 - 7:40 AM

A Kamloops hunter who made headlines in 2015 for allegedly killing a Dall sheep in the Yukon 16 years earlier and pretending it was shot in B.C., has lost his appeal to have his hunting licence reinstated.

Kamloops outfitter Abraham Dougan lost his case against the Deputy Director of the Wildlife and Habitat Branch Dec. 23, 2019, with Environmental Appeal Board Panel Chair Susan Ross dismissing his claim to overturn a two-year hunting ban imposed in October 2018.

According to the Environment Appeal Board decision, the reasons for the two-year ban date back to an infamous incident in 1999, as well as other poaching-related infractions.

Dougan was charged in relation to the sheep incident in 2012, but delays in bringing the case to trial meant the judge stayed charges in 2015.

According to the decision, Dougan killed the Dall sheep in the Yukon in 1999 and sent a photograph of himself and the sheep to the Big Game Records Book of British Columbia saying it was shot in B.C. It was recorded as the second largest Dall sheep taken in the province. Over a decade later in 2011, a confidential informant told authorities the sheep was not shot in B.C. but shot in the Yukon and then transported to B.C.

Conservation Officers then used computer simulation tools to pinpoint the location of the photo and investigators flew and hiked into an area in the Yukon where they suspected the sheep was killed.

Dougan was charged in 2012 for the illegal killing of the sheep and photos taken by Conservation Officers in the Yukon were used in court to prove the hunt did not take place in B.C. However, while the judge accepted Dougan illegally poached the sheep, the charges were stayed after the judge ruled it had taken too long for prosecutors to bring the case to trial and Dougan's Charter rights were infringed.

According to the decision, Dougan claimed the B.C. Conservation Officer Service "targeted him to discredit him with his clients" because of the Dall sheep hunt case. In 2013 he was denied an assistant guide outfitter licence although promptly appealed and received a licence.

While Dougan walked away without being convicted in B.C. he received a $15,000 fine and was banned from hunting or guiding in the Yukon for 20 years following another incident in 2011 for wasting the meat of two animals and commencing a hunt when not permitted to do so.

In March 2017, several months after the Crown appealed and lost in the Dall sheep case, the B.C. Conservation Officer Service started procedures to strip Dougan of his hunting licence.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service lists 10 hunting infractions dating back to 1995 - along with the Dall sheep incident and Yukon conviction - to back-up their claim his licence should be suspended. While the conservation department requested a four- to seven-year hunting suspension, the Ministry banned Dougan from hunting for two years.

Dougan disputed the action calling the licencing ban "oppressive" and that the Conservation Officer Service's actions against him are "prejudicial and discriminatory." He says the ban interferes with his ability to feed his family with "legally and ethically" hunted wild meat.

Dougan also argued the delay in the proceedings to remove his licence counts as "double jeopardy" describing it as "being punished twice for the same misconduct."

However, the panel chair says both the Yukon and the Dall sheep incidents are "highly relevant" and a two-year ban is at the "lowest end of the scale" and a longer period could have been ordered.

Ultimately the Appeal Board chair dismissed Dougan's appeal and stated the two-year ban will start Feb. 1, 2019.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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