Two men from Maidstone were fined a total of $21,000 in Lloydminster provincial court on Wednesday for using an aircraft to hunt wildlife.
Erick and Jan Alsager were each convicted under The Saskatchewan Wildlife Regulations. Erick Alsager was also found guilty of willfully obstructing a peace officer in the execution of his duties contrary to the Criminal Code.
In addition to the fines, Jan Alsager received a two-year hunting suspension and Erick received a one-year hunting suspension. All seized items were ordered forfeited to the Crown.
The charges were laid as the result of an investigation by the Ministry of Environment in January of 2012. A caller to the Turn In Poachers line reported shots being fired from a helicopter flying southeast of Maidstone.
Conservation officers from Lloydminster investigated and determined that Erick and Jan Alsager had been flying in the helicopter and shooting at coyotes on the ground. They were subsequently charged.
“Most hunters in Saskatchewan respect hunting laws, which are intended to protect and preserve our natural resources,” Ministry of Environment Compliance and Field Services Executive Director Kevin Callele said. “Unfortunately, there are some who try to get around the system. This issue not only concerns Saskatchewan’s valuable fish and wildlife resource, but it also concerns public safety. Shooting from a helicopter is illegal from a wildlife perspective and incredibly dangerous to other humans on the ground.”
Anyone who suspects wildlife, fisheries or environmental violations is encouraged to report them to the nearest Ministry of Environment office or to call the province’s toll-free Turn In Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 for SaskTel cell phone subscribers. Suspected violations can also be reported online at www.environment.gov.sk.ca/compliance-enforcement. Callers may be eligible for cash rewards of up to $2,000 from the SaskTip Reward Program.
Through its 44 offices across the province, the Ministry of Environment provides science-based solutions, compliance and mitigation measures aimed at protecting the environment, safeguarding communities and helping to meet the challenges of economic growth.