Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for April 17, 2014

Guide, client watched hunters’ illegal actions

A Dawson City hunter has been slapped with a $7,000 fine for four violations of the Yukon Wildlife Act near Kloo Lake in November 2011.Sadie Jabbar pleaded guilty in territorial court this week to:

A Dawson City hunter has been slapped with a $7,000 fine for four violations of the Yukon Wildlife Act near Kloo Lake in November 2011.Sadie Jabbar pleaded guilty in territorial court this week to:

• hunting bison from an aircraft;

• permitting the meat of a big game animal to be wasted;

• using a vehicle to hunt or transport wildlife in an area off-limits to motor vehicles; and

• providing false information.

The fine exceeds by $500 the penalty handed down to his hunting partner, Micah Olesh, who was convicted last month.

Olesh pleaded guilty to wounding wildlife and failing “to make reasonable effort to kill it.”

He also pleaded guilty to the first three counts Jabbar was convicted of this week, but did not stand accused of the fourth breach of giving false information.

According to the agreed statement of facts, Jabbar and Olesh drove to Haines Junction on Oct. 31, 2011 to hunt bison.

Jabbar is an “expert hunter,” the statement says. He has held hunting licences every year but one since 1987.

“Olesh was a novice hunter,” and 2011 was the second year he held a licence.

Neither man had previously hunted bison.

Late on the afternoon of Oct. 31, 2011, the duo flew out from Haines Junction with Marcel Dulac, the owner of Sifton Air.

“During the flight, which lasted 30 minutes, they observed a group of bison near the Jarvis River,” about 35 kilometres northwest of Haines Junction, according to the statement of facts.

The plane circled the area where the bison were grazing for 10 minutes, from approximately 3:30 to 3:40 p.m.

The group landed and the duo drove to the trailhead and into the Kloo Lake area to stay the night.

Early the next morning, they drove an ATV near the vicinity where they had spotted the bison.

The last part of the route — shorter than a kilometre — was off-limits to ATVs.

Jabbar said he saw no signage saying so, though the restriction was set out in the hunting synopsis the two men had with them.

They located the bison and approached the herd on foot. The animals were grazing away from the trail between 3 and 4 p.m.

“When the bison were located, Mr. Jabbar shot two to three times and killed a bull bison,” the statement of facts said.

“Mr. Olesh took several shots at a cow, using his rifle and then Mr. Jabbar’s rifle. The cow fell during the shooting.

“Mr. Olesh believed he had killed the cow but he did not approach it.”

The duo later claimed they did not approach nor gut the animals because the herd would not leave the vicinity, despite their yelling and firing shots into the air.

Intending to return the next day to retrieve their kill, Jabbar and Olesh decided to leave “because it was getting dark, the temperature was dropping and the snow and wind were increasing,” the statement of claim says.

“They asked for and received the assistance of Mr. Dulac and Mr. Link Lougheed to retrieve the two downed bison the following day.”

Meanwhile, Greg Spenner, a big game guide from Mervyn Yukon Outfitting, and a client of his from B.C. were observing the same group of bison with binoculars and a spotting scope fewer than 600 metres away.

They had also seen the Sifton Air plane circling above the herd the previous afternoon.

They both watched as Jabbar and Olesh shot the two bison, hearing roughly 25 shots fired in total.

An hour after seeing the violations take place, Spenner and his client, Harm Gross, went to where the kill had taken place.

“Mr. Gross said that the cow was then still alive and Mr. Spenner said that right before dark the cow finally died on her own,” according to the statement of claim.

The two men returned to the lookout point at around 11 a.m. the next day and saw that no one had yet returned to recover the carcasses, “as the bull was bloated and there was a skiff of fresh snow on the ground and on both bison.”

Jabbar and Olesh did return an hour or two later, along with Dulac and Lougheed, on snowmobiles and the ATV. The four men retrieved the two dead bison using skimmers.

On Nov. 4, 2011, Jabbar returned a call from a Dawson City conservation and claimed he had killed the animals on Nov. 2 — not Nov. 1. He admitted several days later that the kills had actually occurred on Nov. 1.

There is a prohibition against hunting wildlife within 48 hours of spotting it from the air. That is clearly set out in Jabbar’s hunting synopsis as well as in territorial legislation.

The bison meat was seized, tested and shown to be mostly spoiled and unsuitable for consumption, according to an examiner.

Had the animals been opened after the kill, the meat would not have been wasted, the statement of claim says.

Jabbar was forced to forfeit all parts of the bison. He is also under a five-year ban for both hunting and firearms. He cannot accompany another hunter into the field for five years.

Jabbar must complete Environment Yukon’s “hunter education and ethical development course” and pay his $7,000 fine before he is eligible to apply for another hunting licence.

Environment Yukon put out a statement Wednesday on the case.

The territorial department “relies on public support and participation to help it manage human activities in ways that conserve natural resources,” the statement said.

“When there are Wildlife Act infractions, it is important for the public to know how they have been dealt with,” according to the release.

Conservation officers remind the public that Wildlife Act and Environment Act violations can be reported confidentially at any time to the TIPP line (1-800-661-0525) or http://www.env.gov.yk.ca/tipp.

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