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Hunting guide charged

UPDATE 1:30 P.M.

After being charged, and fined $15,000 by a Yukon Territorial court, a Kamloops trophy hunter is not out of trouble just yet.

As it turns out, hunting guide Abe Dougan is facing 12 additional charges in British Columbia for further violations to the Wildlife Act.

The charges stem from an incident in 1999 where Dougan allegedly shot a large sheep in the Yukon, without a license. He then brought it back to BC, again without a license, and then lied about where he shot the animal.

He is making his next court appearance December 8, 2014 in Kamloops.  


ORIGINAL 5:00 A.M.: A Kamloops hunting guide and an American hunter are now banned from hunting in the Yukon and have been slapped with hefty fines after an incident in 2011.

The fines were levied against guide Abraham Dougan, of Kamloops, and Brian Tallerico, of Etna, Wyoming for wasting meat and hunting too soon after getting off their plane.

According to Environment Yukon both men pleaded guilty to the charges in Yukon Territorial Court Tuesday morning and were fined accordingly.

Dougan was ordered to pay $15,000, ($10,000 for wasting meat and $5,000 for the plane offence) he is also banned from hunting in the Yukon for 20-years.

Tallerico was ordered to pay $11,500, ($7,500 for wasting meat and $4,000 for the plane offence) he is banned from hunting in Yukon for 10-years.

Whitehorse Daily Star reporter Rhiannon Russell was in court for the judgement and reports that the charges stem from a hunting trip in 2011.

According to Russell, Judge Peter Chisholm told the court in his judgement that Dougan, 39, should be held more responsible as he was the expert in the situation.

“He was the individual in this situation who had the greatest expertise,” Judge Peter Chisholm said of Dougan, who runs Big Boar Outfitters in BC and obtained a Yukon guiding licence in 2002 and 2011.

“He has significant responsibility in terms of how this hunt was conducted and he displayed very bad judgment.”

Although Tallerico, 43, hired a guide, he too showed a lack of judgment according to the judge.

Russell reports that the sentence was the result of a joint submission by Crown prosecutor Lee Kirkpatrick, Dougan’s lawyer Kevin Church in Kamloops, and Tallerico’s Vancouver-based lawyer, Nicholas Weigelt.

Both defence lawyers phoned in to the courtroom on behalf of their clients.

Environment Yukon says that Dougan was a licensed guide in Yukon at the time and was hired to guide Tallerico.

The two men arrived in the Yukon on Aug 16, 2011 and were accompanied by two other men, including a cameraman.

“The caribou he shot was photographed within minutes of the group landing by airplane to begin the hunt and was shot and killed within about 90 minutes after landing, rather than the required six hours following their flight,” explains Enviroment Yukon of the violation. “The six-hour rule is aimed at ensuring fair chase and the offence is commonly referred to as hunting by aircraft.”

The Whitehorse Daily Star explains that Tallerico had come to Yukon with the goal of harvesting a Stone sheep, and was working towards a “grand slam” – hunting a Dall, Stone, Rocky Mountain bighorn and Desert bighorn sheep. The Stone sheep would have been Tallerico’s second of the four.

With the group already carrying sheep horns, a small amount of sheep meat, a grizzly skull and hide, and a caribou trophy, “this was, in the Crown’s submission, a trainwreck waiting to happen,” said Crown prosecutor Kirkpatrick.

When the men returned back to Whitehorse they went to the Environment Yukon office to get the required export permits Tallerico needed to take his trophies back to the U.S.

That’s when conservation officers became suspicious of the group.

The men only presented 211 pounds of moose meat, no caribou meat and the sheep horns, which weighed about 16.5 pounds, when typically, a boned-out moose weighs 450 pounds, a caribou is 225 pounds, and a sheep is between 60 and 65 pounds.

That’s an expected total of 740, hundreds of pounds more than what Tallerico and Dougan presented.

In response, Conservation officers seized the trophies and began an investigation. They visited the area they were hunting and found a considerable amount of meat left behind.

When questioned about the hunt, Tallerico and Dougan lied, according the crown, and said that the caribou had been killed a day later than it actually had been.

Russell adds that both defence lawyers for the men expressed their clients’ remorse over the phone in court that day.  

“He wishes to express his profound apologies to the people of the Yukon,” Weigelt said of Tallerico. “He is very embarrassed by what happened. This is out of character for him.”

As for Dougan, who is married with two young children and has worked for years as a guide, this fine and conviction will affect him economically as well, Church said.

“There’s no question there was wastage,” he said. “Mr. Dougan is more than embarrassed by this.”

Territorial Judge Peter Chisholm ordered them both to pay the fine to the Yukon Fish and Game Association TIPPS poachers fund.

Tallerico has already submitted a cheque for the full amount and Dougan has submitted a $10,000 cheque to the court so far. Dougan has one year to pay the remaining $5,000. 

Tellerico withdrew his application for return of the wildlife seized and all wildlife, including the trophies from the caribou, sheep, grizzly bear and moose seized by Conservation Officers in 2011 were ordered forfeit.

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