Release Date: March 17, 2013
On the evening of January 25 2012, Natural Resource Officers from the Central Region gathered near Broad Valley, MB in response to several complaints regarding the illegal harvest of elk on private land at night. Officers set up in their observation positions and waited for a sign of hunting activity.
Shortly after midnight, one pair of NROs waiting in an area that had heavy elk traffic noticed a set of brake lights at an intersection one mile to the east of their observation position. The vehicle then turned and started driving towards them, using a handheld spotlight out the passenger window to illuminate the road allowance. The vehicle turned off the road into an alfalfa field and used their headlights and the handheld spotlight to illuminate the field, indirectly illuminating the NRO's patrol vehicle for a short time. The vehicle did another short loop in the field and this time held the beam of the spotlight directly on the NRO's patrol vehicle. Immediately, the handheld spotlight was turned off and the vehicle quickly exited the field
After fleeing for approximately two miles, the accused stopped the vehicle when he was surrounded by two other NRO patrol vehicles. The vehicle plus all its contents were seized and all four occupants were served appearance notices for a future court date. Tracing the vehicle's path backwards, NROs found a rifle in the ditch that appeared to have been thrown from the vehicle as it was fleeing. This rifle was sent to a lab for analysis and was matched with cartridge casings found in the accused's vehicle.
Four men were all charged with hunting vertebrate animals at night with lights and hunting on private land without permission. The group plead not guilty and the matter was heard by a Provincial Court Judge. After trial, the four men were all found guilty and received a combined fine of $840.00. The 2001 Ford F-150 4 x 4, two firearms, and various other pieces of hunting equipment valued at approximately $5,500 were forfeited to the Crown.