Norwegian woman Tonje Blomseth has been fined $1,000 after illegally shooting a ptarmigan along the South Canol Road earlier this year. (Facebook)

Norwegian “adventurer” fined $1k for illegally hunting ptarmigan on Yukon’s South Canol Road

Tonje Blomseth had been told by conservation officers that ptarmigan hunting season was over

A self-described Norwegian “adventurer” has been fined $1,000 after illegally shooting a ptarmigan along the South Canol Road during a months-long stay in the Yukon earlier this year.

Tonje Blomseth was found guilty of hunting without a licence during an ex parte trial in Whitehorse the afternoon of Sept. 18 after she failed to show up to court.

Justice of the peace Sharman Morrison entered a guilty plea to the charge, a violation of the territorial Wildlife Act, on Blomseth’s behalf.

According to facts territorial Crown attorney Lee Kirkpatrick read to the court, the offence was discovered after a conservation officer found a photo Blomseth posted to social media that shows her posing with the dead bird.

The events leading up to the charge began on Sept. 10, 2017, Kirkpatrick said, when conservation officers inspected a camp Blomseth and her boyfriend, Per Eira, had set up near a lake about 150 kilometres north of Ross River. There, they found an illegally-built structure as well as litter strewn throughout the site, and ordered the couple to clean up. Conservation officers did a follow-up inspection of the camp a few weeks later but found that litter was still a problem.

On March 18, conservation officers contacted Blomseth and Eira in Ross River and told them that the season for hunting ptarmigan had closed three days earlier. However, in mid-April, a conservation officer saw a photo on Blomseth’s Facebook that showed her with a rifle strapped to her back and holding a dead ptarmigan.

The officer recognized the background of the photo as a location on South Canol Road, Kirkpatrick said, and went to inspect the site, where he found ptarmigan feathers, blood and a spent shot from a .22-calibre rifle.

On April 18, conservation officers met Blomseth at the Whitehorse airport, where they interviewed her. Kirkpatrick said that Blomseth initially denied having killed a ptarmigan and told conservation officers that she hadn’t seen any wildlife or shot anything along the South Canol Road.

When conservation officers showed her the photo, Blomseth then said she wasn’t sure where she’d shot the bird before admitting that it was along the South Canol Road. She also told them that the ptarmigan “was just lunch really, it wasn’t anything more than that,” and that she had come across the bird with her dog team and had thought, “what the hell.”

Blomseth’s boyfriend, Eira, later told conservation officers she had shot the ptarmigan on April 3.

Kirkpatrick said that Blomseth showed a “complete lack of respect for the Yukon’s wildlife laws” as well as a lack of honesty by lying to conservation officers and by shooting a ptarmigan even though she knew that she wasn’t supposed to.

Morrison agreed and approved Kirkpatrick’s suggested sentence of a $1,000 fine as well as the forfeiture of Blomseth’s rifle, case and padlock.

Blomseth has four months to pay the fine.

The maximum penalty for a first-time violation of the Wildlife Act is a $50,000 fine, no more than one year in prison, or both.

The Crown withdrew a second charge against Blomseth of possessing illegally-killed wildlife, and two charges against Eira after determining he had no role in killing the ptarmigan.

According to court records, Eira pleaded guilty earlier this year to illegally hunting a beaver. Blomseth is also currently facing at least two other charges related to her trip to the Yukon, including improperly discarding litter, a violation of the Environment Act, and harvesting forest resources without a permit, a violation of the Forest Resources Act.

Blomseth has posted extensively on social media about her trip to the Yukon, which she describes as a “10-month long expedition” on her Instagram account.

Her Instagram account has a story entitled “Canada 17-18,” of which one of the images says that her “Canada stay” lasted from June 17, 2017 to April 18. In a Facebook post dated April 10, Blomseth wrote, in Norwegian, that she is writing a book about her and Eira’s experience in the Yukon, which included building a log cabin and living in it before being “forced” to move into a tent and hunting and fishing to feed themselves.

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

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

Just Posted

The City of Whitehorse’s projected deficit could be $100,000 more than originally predicted earlier this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City deficit could be just over $640,000 this year

Third quarter financial reports presented to council

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Oct. 30. Masks became mandatory in the Yukon for anyone five years old and older as of Dec. 1 while in public spaces. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
As mask law comes into effect, premier says $500 fines will be last resort

The territory currently has 17 active cases of COVID-19

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Ranj Pillai, minister of economic development, during a press conference on April 1.
Government rejects ATAC mining road proposal north of Keno City

Concerns from the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun were cited as the main reason for the decision

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Dec. 2, 2020

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited internet options beginning Dec. 1. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet for some available Dec. 1

Whitehorse and Carcross will be among seven northern communities to have unlimited… Continue reading

Submitted/Yukon News file
Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to the unsolved homicide of Allan Donald Waugh, 69, who was found deceased in his house on May 30, 2014.
Yukon RCMP investigating unsolved Allan Waugh homicide

Yukon RCMP’s Historical Case Unit is seeking information related to an unsolved… Continue reading

A jogger runs along Millenium Trail as the sun rises over the trees around 11 a.m. in Whitehorse on Dec. 12, 2018. The City of Whitehorse could soon have a new trail plan in place to serve as a guide in managing the more than 233 kilometres of trails the city manages. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
2020 trail plan comes forward

Policies and bylaws would look at e-mobility devices

Snow-making machines are pushed and pulled uphill at Mount Sima in 2015. The ski hill will be converting snow-making to electric power with more than $5 million in funding from the territorial and federal governments. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Mount Sima funded to cut diesel reliance

Mount Sima ski hill is converting its snowmaking to electric power with… Continue reading

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Colin McDowell, the director of land management for the Yukon government, pulls lottery tickets at random during a Whistle Bend property lottery in Whitehorse on Sept. 9, 2019. A large amount of lots are becoming available via lottery in Whistle Bend as the neighbourhood enters phase five of development. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Lottery for more than 250 new Whistle Bend lots planned for January 2021

Eight commercial lots are being tendered in additional to residential plots

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21. The Canada Border Services Agency announced Nov. 26 that they have laid charges against six people, including one Government of Yukon employee, connected to immigration fraud that involved forged Yukon government documents. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Charges laid in immigration fraud scheme, warrant out for former Yukon government employee

Permanent residency applications were submitted with fake Yukon government documents

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

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read