Repeat poacher banned from hunting for 3 years, fined $3K after killing elk

Repeat poacher banned from hunting for 3 years, fined $3K after killing elk

A 58-year-old man from Arran, Sask., was fined $3,300 and banned from hunting for three years after he was caught poaching last autumn.

Gerald Freese pleaded guilty to illegally shooting an elk using another person's hunting licence.

A conservation officer from Duck Mountain noticed a discrepancy while conducting an inspection of a butcher shop in October, according to a government news release.

It was determined the elk was shot on Sept. 2 with a licence that was purchased the same morning. 

The person who bought the licence did not shoot the elk. Instead, Freese had asked the person to buy a licence and tag the animal.

Freese pleaded guilty in a Kamsack courtroom earlier this month to violations of The Wildlife Act and the Wildlife Regulations Act.

It's not his first time running afoul of conservation efforts. He was convicted in 2007 of poaching elk and in 2017 for poaching a bull moose.

The person who bought the licence was also charged, but the charges were dropped when Freese agreed to plead guilty.

Anyone who suspects wildlife, fisheries, forestry or environmental violations is asked to call the local Ministry of Environment office, Saskatchewan's toll-free Turn in Poachers and Polluters line at 1-800-667-7561 or #5555 for SaskTel cellular subscribers, or report a violation online at www.saskatchewan.ca/tip.