Duck hunt mistake costly for hunters

An unfortunate series of misunderstandings netted a trio of hunters from the States a handful of fines, prohibitions and their quarry.

An unfortunate series of misunderstandings netted a trio of hunters from the southern United States a handful of fines, prohibitions and their quarry.

Sam Lee appeared in court for the three hunters as agent, as Richard Cutler III, William Finch and James Smythe had returned to the United States.

The court heard that on Oct. 15, the three hunters were hunting near Hwy. 601 when a wildlife officer spotted them hunting and decided to do a spot-check. He found the three men with 12 ducks, and went over their paperwork with them and realized they did not have the proper licences to hunt migratory game. The officer seized the ducks and charged the men.

The three men had gone to the trouble of getting their licences to hunt, and had made a trip of it, Lee told the courts, explaining that there had been no deliberate poaching or malice. Instead, the three men had thought they had all the necessary paperwork in place, and the poaching was in error.

Regardless, the law was broken and each hunter was fined $800 plus the 30 per cent victims surcharge, were handed hunting prohibitions, and had to forfeit the 12 ducks, which were seized at the time of the charge.

Man too impaired to walk to cruiserA man was literally so impaired that he stumbled while getting out of his vehicle and needed help from RCMP to the cruiser after a 911 call sent Bashaw police out to get him on Oct. 30.

The court heard that Kenneth Robertson, 60, had parked on an approach to the highway, where a witness observed him. Believing the man to be drunk, the witness phoned 911.

When the Bashaw RCMP arrived, they found Robertson sitting in his running car, a bottle of open whiskey in between his knees. In addition to the open alcohol container, Robertson was showing obvious signs of impairment. When police asked him to exit his vehicle, he stumbled, and then needed help to the cruiser.

It was Robertson’s first appearance, and he pleaded guilty to the charge of care and control of a vehicle while impaired. The early plea, combined with the fact Robertson wasn’t driving, were mitigating factors in his sentence, Judge G.E. Deck said. However, Robertson’s high level of intoxication — borne out by a blood alcohol level of 130 — was an aggravating factor.

In the end, Robertson was given a $1,000 fine plus the 30 per cent victims’ surcharge, and given until the end of June to pay. In addition to that, Robertson’s licence was suspended for 12 months.

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