More charges for accused poacher

Kamloops-based hunting guide claims to have killed the sheep in remote part of B.C.

Abe Dougan was back in Kamloops provincial court on Wednesday

Abe Dougan was back in Kamloops provincial court on Wednesday

By Tim Petruk

Kamloops This Week

Is it a witch hunt or a fraudulent sheep hunt?

The defence lawyer representing an alleged cross-border poacher accused of lying about where he shot a record-setting Dall sheep more than 15 years ago says provincial authorities are on a witch hunt aimed at giving his client a bad name.

Abe Dougan was back in Kamloops provincial court on Wednesday, Feb. 4, for the continuation of his trial on a dozen poaching charges stemming from a 1999 Dall sheep hunt.

The Kamloops-based hunting guide claims to have killed the sheep in a remote part of northwestern B.C., where he had been entitled to do so in August 1999.

The trophy earned a spot in the Big Game Records of B.C. record book — where a photo of Dougan posing with the sheep was published alongside a brief first-person account of the hunt, in which Dougan described tracking the animal through a mountain range in northwest B.C.

In 2011, Environment Yukon received a confidential tip that the photo of Dougan was actually taken in the Yukon, where he was not permitted to hunt.

Using three-dimensional mapping software, an investigator located a Yukon mountain with similar characteristics to the mountain in the background of Dougan’s photo.

In the summer of 2011, investigators flew by helicopter to the site they claim Dougan bagged the sheep — 18 kilometres north of the Yukon/B.C. border.

They took a photo of the mountain range from what they felt was the exact location Dougan’s hunting partner was standing when the trophy photo was taken, court heard.

The two pictures bear striking similarities, including a series of slides in the background and a distinct plateau on a mountain over Dougan’s left shoulder.

Last week, Dougan was charged with three new counts stemming from an unrelated cougar hunt near Williams Lake more than a year ago.

Dougan, along with Brent Giles and Ryan Hartling, is facing one count each of hunting wildlife within six hours of being airborne, unlawful possession of dead wildlife and failing to accompany a person guided.

“These people [B.C. conservation authorities] have made it their life’s work to get Mr. Dougan,” defence lawyer Kevin Church said in court.

“They’re embarrassing him to Mr. Giles, the person that he’s working for. They’re telling him, ‘This guy is a bad guy. You shouldn’t deal with him. We know when we hear Abe Dougan’s around, we’re after you. So, don’t deal with this guy. Don’t hire this guy.’”

The charges against Dougan, Giles and Hartling were sworn on Jan. 29. Church said the charges likely wouldn’t have been laid if not for the interest in Dougan generated by the Dall sheep case — a trial that has been ongoing sporadically for well over a year.

All three accused in the latest indictment are slated to make first appearances in Williams Lake provincial court next month.

Church went on to say the Dall sheep charges are not serious enough to warrant the amount of court time they have garnered.

“You have murders, you have accessing of child pornography by people in authority,” he said.

“It’s not a sexual-assault case, it’s the harvest of a sheep. Again, I’m not trying to diminish it entirely. But, there are still sheep tags given in that part of British Columbia. This was not a harvest of the last of its species. This was a legal animal harvested in British Columbia, we say.”

During a hearing in December, Dougan denied that the Crown photo and the background of his trophy photo were “an exact match.”

“I agree that the backdrop has some similarities, as many mountain areas do,” he said.

Church has asked Kamloops provincial court Judge Stella Frame to toss the Dall sheep charges based on delay. She has not yet ruled on that application.

The Dall sheep trial will likely continue on March 9. If convicted, Dougan could lose his B.C. guide licence and be banned from hunting in the province.

In August, Dougan was convicted in a Yukon court on charges alleging he wasted meat from sheep, caribou and moose killed in 2011 and hunted too soon after being airborne. In that instance, Dougan was a guide leading a Wyoming hunter on a hunt for stone sheep.

The American hunter was fined $11,500 and barred from hunting in the Yukon for 10 years.

Dougan was ordered to pay $15,000 in fines and banned from hunting or guiding in the Yukon for 20 years.

 

Just Posted

teaser
Dynamic drives and pitiful putting helped even the score

Another Ladies’ Night has come and gone. This season is passing by… Continue reading

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: Traffic cop humour

He demands to know what sort of device had been used to measure his speed

(L-r) Cody Lee with six-year-old daughter Paisley, and Joshua Burleigh with his seven-year-old son Noah are extremely thankfull to Heffley Creek residents and First Responders for the help they received after their canoe capsized in rapids on the North Thompson River on Sunday, June 13. (Facebook photo)(L-r) Cody Lee with six-year-old daughter Paisley, and Joshua Burleigh with his seven-year-old son Noah are extremely thankfull to Heffley Creek residents and First Responders for the help they received after their canoe capsized in rapids on the North Thompson River on Sunday, June 13. (Facebook photo)
North Thompson River canoe trip almost ends in disaster

‘Only way I managed to get us to shore was the thought of not letting my boy drown’

A for sale sign is shown in by new homes in Beckwith, Ont., just outside Ottawa, on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Thompson-Okanagan population grew despite COVID-19: report

The Chartered Professional Accountants of BC said there are 8,462 new residents in the region

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read