Vancouver Man Pleads Guilty to Elk Poaching
A Vancouver man faces combined fines of $5,000 after pleading guilty to two counts under the Wildlife Act after an appearance in Duncan Provincial Court.
Sergei Sharov pleaded guilty to one count of hunting during a closed season and one count of unlawful possession of wildlife. He was fined $5,000, of which $4,500 will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Sharov also received a five-year recognizance, including a ban from hunting and being in contact with other hunters. In addition to the penalties imposed, the seized firearm was forfeited to the Crown.
The co-accused, Everett Clifford Smith, remains at large and has a warrant for his arrest
The charges were laid after the Conservation Officer Service received a tip from a member of the public. The accused were discovered by conservation officers with a freshly killed and field-dressed elk on the afternoon of Nov. 9, 2008 on the north shore of Lake Cowichan. Due to conservation concerns, hunting of elk has been banned in this area for over 30 years.
Illegal hunting and fishing activities threaten provincial fish and wildlife resources. Environment Minister Terry Lake encourages the public to report all poachers and polluters by calling 1 877 952-RAPP (7277), #RAPP (7277) on the TELUS Mobility Network, or by visiting the website at: www.rapp.bc.ca
The BC Wildlife Federation offers a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the conviction of persons breaking wildlife laws, vandalizing private property and breaking other property laws.
The maximum penalty for a first offence conviction under the B.C. Wildlife Act is $50,000 or imprisonment for a term of six months, or both. Administrative sanctions may also be imposed.
The Ministry of Environment's Quarterly Compliance and Enforcement summaries can be viewed online at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/prgs/compliancereport.html