• Jan Sorge v. Deputy Director of Wildlife

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    Decision Date: June 30, 2005

    Panel: Cindy Derkaz

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 24; suspension of hunting privileges; period of suspension

    This was an appeal by Jan Sorge of a decision by the Deputy Directory of Wildlife (the “Deputy Director”), to suspend Mr. Sorge’s hunting privileges for a period of two years.  Mr. Sorge maintained that he was wrongly accused of shooting a grizzly bear outside his limited entry hunting authorization area, and that it was an issue of unclear boundaries.  He also submitted that he did not lie to the conservation officer about where the bear was shot, and did not evade the conservation officer.  Mr. Sorge argued that the Deputy Director’s decision would directly affect his business, and he sought to have his hunting privileges reinstated.

    The Deputy Director submitted that the decision was made in accordance with all statutory requirements, and that Mr. Sorge was treated fairly.  He also argued that the two-year suspension was substantially less than the five-year period recommended by the conservation officer.

    The Board found, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr. Sorge knew when he shot the grizzly bear that he may be outside the boundary, and that he was either reckless or negligent when he failed to accurately determine the location of the boundary before shooting the bear.  The Board was not satisfied that the suspension of Mr. Sorge’s hunting licence would have any negative effect on his business.  The Board found that the two-year suspension imposed by the Deputy Director to be conservative compared to other licensing decisions, and considered sending the matter back to the Deputy Director with directions to reconsider the length of the suspension.  However, because this was the first time Mr. Sorge had been convicted in many years of hunting for big game, and he was already subject to a large fine imposed by the Court, the Board decided to uphold the two-year suspension.

    Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.