Yukoners fined $9,000 for illegal bison hunt

Two Yukoners were fined in territorial court last week for lying to conservation officers about a botched bison hunt. Upkar Dhillon, 49, must pay $7,000 for exceeding his bag limit, wasting meat, and providing false information.

Two Yukoners were fined in territorial court last week for lying to conservation officers about a botched bison hunt.

Upkar Dhillon, 49, must pay $7,000 for exceeding his bag limit, wasting meat, and providing false information to Yukon Environment staff. He is banned from hunting for five years.

Chris Bemister, 49, has been fined $2,000 for lying to conservation officers and received a two-year hunting ban.

Dhillon was hunting near the Aishihik Road in March 2011 when the incident occurred.

Conservation officers received a tip about the hunt through the Turn In Poachers hotline and began an investigation.

The investigation found that Dhillon had shot a bison. The wounded animal went out of view, and Dhillon followed it.

He came upon a bison which he believed to be the same animal and fired again.

Dhillon then found two dead bison, and a wounded bison calf.

He contacted Bemister, who agreed to claim the second bison as if he had killed it himself.

But its carcass was guarded by the wounded calf, and by the time Dhillon found a third hunter to come and shoot the animal, two days later, the meat had spoiled.

Kris Gustafson, a conservation manager, said the best course of action when an animal is accidentally shot is to report it.

“If you fail to report it, that’s an offence on its own, and you may find yourself in more difficult circumstances.”

When hunting accidents are reported, they are evaluated on a case-by-case basis he said.

The outcome will depend on whether the hunter exercised due diligence, or was negligent, but in either case the outcome will likely be less severe than if evidence was concealed, said Gustafson.

The Turn In Poachers hotline can be reached any time at 1-800-661-0525.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com

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