Alberta Fish and Wildlife fine and charge 13 individuals

One of the people charged was fined $5,000 and had to forfeit a trophy antelope shoulder mount seen here. This investigation began in 2017 by the Stettler Fish and Wildlife Officers. ECA Review/Submitted

Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement recently concluded a major investigation that has resulted in $63,590 in total fines and 31 years of combined recreational hunting licence suspensions against 13 individuals.

The investigation started in early 2017 when Stettler fish and wildlife officers determined that numerous people were hunting with an Indigenous person, who has a constitutionally protected right to hunt, in an effort to disguise their illegal activities.

In a number of cases, the wildlife that was harvested was either out of season or were hunted without the proper licences.

This included elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, and antelope. 

Officers also determined that the meat of some of the illegally harvested trophy animals were trafficked.

In one case, an American from Kansas was also unlawfully guided on a moose and antelope hunt. 

In 2019, 13 individuals were found guilty of numerous Wildlife Act offences including

Donald Chornohus who was found guilty of unlawful possession of wildlife, and was given a $4,500 fine.

Tyler Dean Erickson was found guilty of two counts of hunting without a licence (elk).

He was fined $5,000 and had to forfeit a trophy antelope shoulder mount.

Larry Lee was found guilty of hunting wildlife during a closed season (antlered moose and trophy antelope) and hunting big game as a non-resident alien without an outfitter-guide.

Lee was given a $6,000 fine and a four year recreational hunting licence suspension.

ECA Review/Submitted

Natalie Lynn Leksiw was found guilty of three counts of unlawful possession of wildlife (elk, moose and mule deer), three counts of hunting closed season (elk and antelope) and one count of hunting without a licence (mule deer).

She was fined $5,000 and given a five year Judicial Order prohibiting hunting or accompanying anyone hunting.

Shannon Orest Leksiw was found guilty of four counts unlawful possession of wildlife (moose, elk, mule deer and antelope), three counts of hunting closed season (elk and antelope), and two counts of hunting without a licence (mule deer).

Leksiw was fined $15,000 and given a five year Judicial Order prohibiting hunting or accompanying anyone hunting.

Carmine Maglione was found guilty of two counts of unlawful trafficking of wildlife (moose and elk), guiding for reward without a licence, and providing guiding services to a non-resident alien without an Outfitter-guide permit.

He was given an $11,000 fine, a 15 year Judicial Order in which he is required to report all hunting activity including any wildlife he comes into possession of and six year automatic recreational hunting licence suspension.

Donald Mattila was found guilty of unlawful possession of wildlife and was given a $600 fine.

Trent Morrison was found guilty of trafficking wildlife and was given a $2,500 fine and three year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Greg Morrow was found guilty of hunting without a licence (antlered mule deer) and was given a $2,000 fine and one year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Kimberly Reszel was found guilty of allowing another to use their licence (general white-tailed deer) and was fined $115 and given a one year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Lance Darryl Reszel was found guilty of hunting without a licence (antlered moose), using another licence (general white-tailed deer) and failing to immediately affix a tag (white-tailed deer).

Reszel was given a $7,500 fine and a three year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Trevor Thomas was found guilty of trafficking in wildlife.

He was given a $2,500 and three year recreational hunting licence suspension.

Lengthy and complex investigations such as this often require collaboration between fish and wildlife officers and multiple other agencies.

This investigation involved many Fish and Wildlife officers, Crown prosecutors, members of the RCMP, officers from Kansas Fish and Wildlife and the Saskatchewan Conservation Officer Service, as well as numerous other witnesses.

We would like to take this opportunity to everyone who contributed to the successful conclusion of this file.

It is our hope that these significant fines serve as a strong deterrent to any would-be poachers.

Anyone with information about any wildlife or fishery violation is encouraged to call the 24-hour Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800, or online at the following link: https://www.alberta.ca/report-poacher.aspx.

Callers can remain anonymous and could qualify for a reward.

 

Submitted

About the author

Avatar

ECA Review Publisher

Subscribe

* indicates required