Three British Columbia resident hunters have been fined a total of $7,500 after convictions related to illegal possession of moose and providing false information to provincial conservation officers.
Mack Diebold of Sooke, and Gordon Canning and Virginia Ashe of Prince George received the fines in Prince George provincial court Aug. 21.
In October 2001, Prince George area conservation officers stopped Diebold's vehicle during a routine hunting season roadblock and found two adult moose, for which Diebold did not have proper licences. At Diebold's request, Canning and Ashe falsely used their licence in an attempt to cover one of the moose.
Diebold was fined a total of $6,000: $1,000 for each of two counts of failure to report the accidental killing of the moose; $2,000 for illegal use of another person's hunting licence; and $2,000 for making a false statement to a conservation officer. He was also ordered to forfeit his hunting rifle and the two moose carcasses.
Canning and Ashe were each convicted of one count of making a false statement to a conservation officer and were fined $1,000 and $500 respectively.
The maximum penalty under the provincial Wildlife Act is a $50,000 fine and six months in jail.
Illegal hunting and angling pose a threat to British Columbia's fish and wildlife populations. Through the Observe, Record, Report program, British Columbians are urged to combat illegal activity. Anyone with information is asked to contact the ministry's toll-free tip line at 1-800-663-WILD (9453). All calls will be kept confidential.