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North Battleford Area Outfitters and American Hunters Fined More Than $24,000

Released on February 7, 2017

Ministry of Environment conservation officers recently completed investigations in the North Battleford area involving illegal outfitting and hunting activities, resulting in more than $24,000 in fines.

The first investigation dates back to November 2013, when a bull moose was poached on private land in the Eagle Creek area east of Struan, approximately 80 kilometres southeast of North Battleford.  Shortly thereafter, a First Nations outfitter and his American client obtained an export permit for a set of moose antlers, stating that the animal was taken on First Nations lands.

In December 2013, officers obtained DNA samples from the moose remains and compared them with moose antlers seized in West Virginia by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers.  A forensic lab determined the samples were from the same moose taken unlawfully in Saskatchewan.

Daniel Shriver, age 71, of Valley Grove, West Virginia, pleaded guilty to unlawful hunting, unlawful possession and providing false information to a wildlife officer and was fined $3,260.

Stewart Baptiste, age 37, of Cando, pleaded guilty to outfitting without an outfitter’s licence endorsed for that activity and providing false information to a wildlife officer.  He was fined $5,920.

Baptiste received a court order under The Wildlife Act restricting him from being in the company of anyone involved in any aspect of hunting other than on the lands of a First Nation in the Province of Saskatchewan, or in the company of another treaty person hunting for subsistence.  He must also provide details and information on all animals killed while outfitting, ensure all clients attend a Ministry of Environment office, and appear in-person to swear an affidavit that all the information and details of the hunt are true.  He must also sign export permits required by clients.  These conditions will be imposed for a period of five years. 

In addition, Baptiste was caught guiding a U.S. resident in the Sonningdale area in September 2016.  He was charged for unlawful guiding and fined an additional $3,000 for a total of $8,920.

The second illegal outfitting investigation began on December 5, 2016, when conservation officers from North Battleford conducted a compliance check south of North Battleford.

Brett Zeis, age 30, of Langdon, North Dakota, pleaded guilty to having a loaded firearm in a vehicle and to unlawful hunting and was fined $1,880.

George Keewatin, age 32, of Kamsack, pleaded guilty to unlawful guiding and was fined $10,000.

Keewatin also received a court order under The Wildlife Act restricting him from being in the company of anyone involved in any aspect of hunting other than on the lands of a First Nation in the Province of Saskatchewan, or in the company of another treaty person hunting for subsistence.  He must also provide details and information on all animals killed while outfitting, ensure all clients attend a Ministry of Environment office, and appear in-person to swear an affidavit that all the information and details of the hunt are true.  He must also sign export permits required by clients.

These conditions will be imposed for a period of five years.  This was Keewatin’s second conviction for unlawful guiding in 2016.

Outfitting and guiding in unauthorized areas is a serious issue and this type of illegal activity hinders other outfitters who follow the rules.

Laws to manage outfitting, outfitter allocations and areas are designed to provide effective management of wildlife populations to ensure hunting opportunities are available now and into the future.

If you suspect fisheries, wildlife, forestry or environmental violations, please call your local Ministry of Environment office, Saskatchewan’s toll-free Turn In Poachers line at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 for SaskTel cellular subscribers, or report a violation online at www.saskatchewan.ca/tip.  You may be eligible for cash rewards from SaskTip Reward Program.

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For more information, contact:

Jamie Gibson
Environment
Regina
Phone: 306-798-3900
Email: jamie.gibson@gov.sk.ca

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