A man who was fined and given hunting bans in a joint B.C.-Alberta investigation says he knows he’s not without fault.
In a 15-minute video posted to Facebook on Friday (Feb. 9), host of the Alpine Carnivore TV show Michel Beaulieu said he wanted to set the record straight on his recent fines and hunting bans from a joint B.C.-Alberta investigation.
Beaulieu, according to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, pleaded guilty to allowing his licence to be used by another person. He also received a $4,500 penalty.
His wife, Lynn, pleaded guilty to hunting without a licence and received a $2,000 penalty. Both are banned from hunting in B.C. for one year.
In Alberta, the province’s Fish and Wildlife Enforcement said Beaulieu was convicted of hunting without a licence, hunting in a closed season, unlawful possession of wildlife, unlawful export of wildlife, providing false information, as well as abusing licence requirements in relation to the killing of bighorn sheep, antlered moose and antlered elk within a protected wilderness area.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement says it was determined the offences in each province happened between August 2020 and September 2021.
The joint investigation took two years until the spring of 2022, with six locations being investigation throughout B.C., the conservation officer service noted.
There were three search warrants and officers seixed numerous unlawfully killed wildlife from both provinces, as well as a rifle. Multiple pieces of evidence were seized in the B.C. searches, including sheep and moose parts that were later matched by DNA analysis to kill sites in Alberta and shell casings from the sheep kill in Alberta also matched the firearm officers seized in B.C.
“These actions showed a blatant disregard for fish and wildlife laws in BC and beyond. Unfortunately, cross-border poaching is not an unusual occurrence,” said COS Insp. Kyle Ackles, who oversees the the B.C. Conservation Officer Service’s general investigations section.
However in the Facebook post from Beaulieu, he said the social media post by Alberta Fish and Wildlife Enforcement makes it sound like there’s “dozens of hunts all over multiple provinces where we’ve committed offences.” He said the convictions were related to three hunts: a bear hunt in B.C. and sheep and moose hunts in Alberta, adding the antlered elk charge is “incorrect.”
The sheep hunt, he said, was the “worst one.” In the video, he details the days leading up to when he killed the sheep, adding that it was the first big-horn sheep he ever killed.
When trying to leave the area, he said a man who claimed he was a conservation officer told Beaulieu that he improperly tagged the sheep and drove into an area that’s closed to motorized vehicles. Beaulieu said he didn’t know if the man was, in fact, a conservation officer so he drove home and called Alberta Fish and Wildlife to report himself.
Officers came to his home and charged him.
“All that happened and I though, OK, that’s unfortunate but it’s still above board – good.”
It was a year later, he said, that he received notice from Alberta Fish and Wildlife that they were “raiding” his home and that the kill was illegal.
“I’m not saying I’m without fault … but I am saying I didn’t mean to break the law.”
In the moose hunt, he said being from Ontario originally he was unaware of Alberta laws of who could shoot the animal based on whose name the tage was in.
“Was I right? No. should I have known better? Yes, but I didn’t.”
It was a similar situation in B.C. with the bear shot.
“It’s truly terrible that all of this has happened and I should know better.”
Hr said all of the incidents happened in his first year of filming Alpine Carnivore, “where I [didn’t] have the knowledge I have today.”
Alpine Carnivore, according to its YouTube channel, is a hunting and outdoors adventure series.