Father and son fined for poaching, again

Two Yukoners have been convicted of illegal hunting for the second time this year.

Two Yukoners have been convicted of illegal hunting for the second time this year.

A territorial court judge this week fined Alan Robinson and John Robinson, father and son, $12,600 and $9,600 respectively for violating the terms of their special guide licence and for hunting caribou in an area where they were not permitted to do so.

They have also been banned from hunting for 14 and a half years.

The conviction comes only six months after a conviction for separate but similar offences.

In the first incident, the Robinsons were fined $5,000 each for hunting caribou in a protected area near the Hoole River in September of 2007.

Their ATVs were seized and they were forbidden from hunting for five years, with the condition of also completing a hunter education and ethical development course.

Those charges were laid in 2009, and the Robinsons pleaded guilty to the offences three days into a four-day trial in April of this year.

The conservation officers proved their case by using trophy photos posted online to show the location of the hunt.

In Judge Dennis Schmidt’s decision, he wrote that “there are only 15 conservation officers in the vast area of the Yukon, and the catching of the persons violating the hunting regulation has to be taken extremely seriously to support those few officers in the field.”

A second reason to take these crimes seriously is to support the management efforts to help ensure the survival of sensitive populations.

The court heard that the Finlayson caribou herd is of great importance to the Kaska Dena, and its population is estimated to have dropped to 3,000 animals from 6,000 in recent years.

The more recent conviction related to an incident in 2009, when the Robinsons obtained special guide licences in order to take two non-Yukoners, Jay Dutton and Drew Chalifoux, hunting.

Under the terms of that licence they were required to accompany the guests at all times during the hunt, which they failed to do.

They also returned to the same area where they had hunted illegally in 2007 and again hunted caribou there.

The elder Robinson was also charged with instructing Dutton and Chalifoux to lie to conservation officers.

Those two initially did lie about where they hunted the caribou, but came clean after further questioning by conservation officers, according to reports.

The court fined Dutton and Chalifoux $7,600 each, and banned them from obtaining a special guiding permit to hunt in the Yukon for six years. They have three months to pay their fine.

In addition to the ATVs already surrendered, the elder Robinson was ordered to forfeit his rifle and scope.

The Robinsons have 18 months to pay their fines.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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