FORT NELSON, B.C. — A Dease Lake man has been sentenced to a three-year hunting prohibition and forced to pay over $2,300 in fines after illegally hunting two moose just outside of Fort Nelson almost a year and a half ago.
According to Conservation Officer Chris Hamlyn, the Conservation Officer Service was notified that several individuals were butchering an animal by the side of the Alaska Highway near Fort Nelson on the morning of September 23rd, 2016. He said that upon arrival officers noted that Peter Callbreath, who is born in 1963 and is a resident of Dease Lake, and several other individuals were in possession of a cow moose carcass.
Hamlyn explained that there is no season for cow moose anywhere in the Peace Region, meaning the moose was hunted illegally. Later that day, officers received another complaint from the same individual that once again there were people butchering a moose by the side of the highway. Callbreath was intercepted by the RCMP driving into Fort Nelson where it was discovered that he was in possession of a bull moose carcass that was also illegally hunted, as the moose had an antler pattern that was not allowed.
“With bull moose in the Peace Region there’s specific antler configurations that the moose has to have in order for it to be legal,” said Hamlyn. “So it either has to be in a spiked-fork, a tri-palm, or have ten tines on at least one antler for it to be legal. This moose didn’t have any of those.”
Hamlyn added that the moose was shot within 400 metres of the Alaska Highway, which is also a hunting violation. He said that though Callbreath is First Nations, he was not hunting within his traditional territory and therefore was subject to the same hunting regulations as anyone else who is not a member of Treaty 8.
On Thursday, Callbreath pleaded guilty to Killing Wildlife not in open season and Unlawful Possession of Wildlife, while two other charges were stayed. Charges against another woman were also stayed. Callbreath received a three-year hunting prohibition, meaning he cannot hunt outside his traditional territory. He was also handed $2,300 in fines and had the rifle used to illegally hunt the two moose confiscated by the COS.