A German couple must pay more than $4,000 in fines and are temporarily banned from getting hunting licences after trying to take a large quantity of meat and fish home from the Yukon in 2017 without an export permit. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

German tourists fined for trying to take fish, grouse from Yukon without permit

The couple pleaded guilty to violating the Wildlife Act and federal fishery regulations July 31

A German couple must pay more than $4,000 fines and are temporarily banned from getting hunting licences after trying to take a large quantity of meat and fish from the Yukon home with them in 2017 without an export permit.

Britta Kristina Blank and Hans-Jochen Warner Steffen Bormann pleaded guilty to three counts of transporting wildlife out of the Yukon without an export permit, a violation of the territorial Wildlife Act, via their lawyer Mike Reynolds in territorial court July 31.

One of the counts was against Blank, while the other two were against Bormann.

The couple also pleaded guilty to three counts each of violating the federal Fishery (General) Regulations for possessing fish that were processed and packaged in such a way that the species, number and size of the fish could not be determined.

According to details read to the court by Crown attorney Lee Kirkpatrick following the guilty pleas, conservation officers saw Blank and Bormann fishing along the North Canol Road on Sept. 12, 2017. When the conservation officers inspected the couple’s cooler, they found several lake trout as well as a number of fish fillets that could not be identified. The officers also found portions of grouse and porcupine, which the couple said they intended to bring back to Germany with them.

The conservation officers charged Blank and Bormann with violating the federal regulations and told them they would need to obtain an export permit in order to legally take their fish and game out of the Yukon.

When the couple didn’t obtain a permit, conservation officers waited for them at the Whitehorse airport on Sept. 25, 2017, and stopped the couple as they were going through security. Conservation officers searched the couple’s cooler and found 57 pairs of spruce grouse breasts, a pair of ruffed grouse breasts, a pair of ptarmigan breasts, 26 skinned fish fillets, 14 lake trout fillets, five whole lake trout, four sets of grouse tail feathers, four porcupine legs, a bag of ground moose meat and 21 grouse feathers. Officers seized the items, and when confronted, Bormann said he’d been taking wildlife back to Germany with him for “20 years” without any problems.

Kirkpatrick said that Blank and Bormann were “extremely cooperative” throughout the process, and Bormann apparently appeared to legitimately believe he did not need an export permit to take the meat and fish with him.

The Crown and defence entered a joint submission for sentencing.

Blank and Bormann must each pay $150 for the violations of the federal regulations. For the territorial act violations, both must complete the Hunter Education and Ethics Development (HEED) course. As well, Blank will be banned from receiving a hunting licence for three years and was ordered to contribute $1,500 towards the Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) Line, while Bormann received a ban that will last until Oct. 31, 2019, and was ordered to contribute $2,500.

Addressing the court afterwards, Reynolds said his clients “love” travelling to the Yukon and have been doing so for many years. He described them as “two very regretful individuals” and suggested that a language barrier may have led to the incident, explaining that English is their “second, third or perhaps fourth language” and that they “definitely present as understanding more English than they do.”

“These are not careless people,” he said.

Kirkpatrick noted that one of the conservation officers who spoke to the couple speaks German, and had explained the rules to them in German.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

A previous version of this story misspelled Lee Kirkpatrick’s last name. The News regrets the error.

huntingYukon courts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speak at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. On Nov. 24, Silver and Hanley announced masks will be mandatory in public places as of Dec. 1, and encouraged Yukoners to begin wearing masks immediately. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced three more COVID-19 cases in a release on Nov. 21. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Three more COVID-19 cases, new exposure notice announced

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, announced three… Continue reading

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: COVID-19 strikes another blow at high-school students

They don’t show up very often in COVID-19 case statistics, but they… Continue reading

The Cornerstone housing project under construction at the end of Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 19. Community Services Minister John Streicker said he will consult with the Yukon Contractors Association after concerns were raised in the legislature about COVID-19 isolation procedures for Outside workers at the site. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Concerns raised about alternate self-isolation plans for construction

Minister Streicker said going forward, official safety plans should be shared across a worksite

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

City council was closed to public on March 23 due to gathering rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is now hoping there will be ways to improve access for residents to directly address council, even if it’s a virtual connection. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Solution sought to allow for more public presentations with council

Teleconference or video may provide opportunities, Roddick says

Megan Waterman, director of the Lastraw Ranch, is using remediated placer mine land in the Dawson area to raise local meat in a new initiative undertaken with the Yukon government’s agriculture branch. (Submitted)
Dawson-area farm using placer miner partnership to raise pigs on leased land

“Who in their right mind is going to do agriculture at a mining claim? But this made sense.”

Riverdale residents can learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s plan to FireSmart a total of 24 hectares in the area of Chadburn Lake Road and south of the Hidden Lakes trail at a meeting on Nov. 26. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Meeting will focus on FireSmart plans

Riverdale residents will learn more details of the City of Whitehorse’s FireSmarting… Continue reading

The City of Whitehorse is planning to borrow $10 million to help pay for the construction of the operations building (pictured), a move that has one concillor questioning why they don’t just use reserve funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Councillor questions borrowing plan

City of Whitehorse would borrow $10 million for operations building

Most Read