December 25, 2002
American hunters fined, deported
Lori Coolican, The Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Two American deer hunters got a taste of the Canadian justice system after they were arrested at the Saskatoon airport with several sets of illegal trophies recently.
Michael Hauck and Joseph Kozonasky of New Jersey spent two days in lock-up before entering guilty pleas to several charges in provincial court last Tuesday. They were deported soon after.
Hauck pleaded guilty to unlawfully transporting 12 sets of white-tail deer antlers from Alberta to Saskatchewan without a permit, and possession of one set of white-tail antlers for the purpose of exporting it from Canada, under the federal Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA). He received a total of $1,700 in fines.
In addition, Hauck pleaded guilty to providing false information to a wildlife officer, under the Wildlife Act of Saskatchewan. He received time served -- two days in jail -- for that charge.
His companion, Joseph Kozonasky, pleaded guilty to possession of one set of antlers for the purpose of exporting it to the U.S. He was fined $2,500.
The two men were ordered to forfeit several items seized from them at the time of their arrest. Kozonasky told court the seized goods, which included their guns and cameras, were worth about $15,000. They were then deported from Canada.
Hunters are required to have a permit for each pair of antlers in their possession, regardless of whether they were shed naturally or taken from a carcass.
Provincial wildlife officers were responding to a tip when they made the arrests, Saskatchewan Environment spokesperson Brent Webster said in an interview.
He would not disclose the identity of the whistle-blower, and would not say whether the tip came from Saskatchewan or Alberta.
When asked why the hunters' cameras were taken, Webster said, "There's going to be some ongoing investigations on this, so we'll just leave it at that."
The men were customers of an aboriginal outfitter from a Saskatchewan reserve.
Webster declined comment on whether the outfitter was connected to the investigation, saying "it's impossible to tell, at this point, but there are some things that we're going to look into."
Jeff "Jesse" James - Owner of Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors
You can always tell who's in 2nd place by who's whining and crying the most. - Old hockey coach.
Dum spiramus tuebimur
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