“He was charged with hunting wildlife with the aid of a light,” said Dale Cashin, a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) enforcement co-ordinator, regarding John William Saunders, 52, who was caught in the act at a field in Earltown.
“Our officers were right there and witnessed the individual do this crime.”
In addition to a $2,875 fine, Saunders had to forfeit his rifle and a late-model Honda Foreman ATV, which Cashin estimated to be worth between $8,000 and $10,000.
“It’s no different if it’s a truck or a car. I t could be a $50,000 vehicle and it would be subsequent to the same actions,” Cashin said. “Certainly from a personal perspective, I mean you stand to lose quite a bit in relation to equipment, vehicles etc.”
Saunders, who was recently convicted in provincial court in Truro, is also banned from hunting anywhere in the province for five years.
His conviction also places him on DNR’s watch list, Cashin said, and if convicted again for a similar offence, the man could be subject to even greater penalties.
“Basically you are on the radar, so to speak.,”
Conservation authorities were alerted to the man’s activities by the public and we’re laying in wait for him when he arrived at the field on the night in question last October.
“He was caught utilizing a light for the purpose of trying to locate deer for hunting. It just happened at that point in time there was no deer in the field when he had lit it up. But you don’t need to shoot a deer to be charged for hunting,” Cashin said. “We do believe that he did take some (deer in the past) but that was not proven.“
Cashin is also anticipating a conviction in February involving a case where a Coldstream man is accused of shooting a deer out of season.
“Both of them were due to public calls and information we got through the public,” he said, in encouraging the general public to be on the lookout for illegal hunting activity.