• Gary Warkentine v. Assistant Deputy Director of Wildlife

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    Decision Date: May 2, 1994

    Panel: Linda Michaluk

    Gary Warkentine accidentally shot a doe deer out of season. He was under the incorrect impression that the hunting season had begun. He was charged with hunting out of season and failing to cancel a species tag and was convicted. Soon afterwards the Assistant Deputy Director notified Mr. Warkentine that he was considering cancelling his hunting privileges. The Assistant Deputy Director received no response from Mr. Warkentine and decided on an 18 month suspension. Mr. Warkentine appealed.

    In making his decision the Assistant Deputy Director was concerned that Mr. Warkentine had an earlier conviction under the Wildlife Act. He felt that two convictions in a relatively short period of time might indicate that “there was more to this than simply what appeared on the face of it.” He had no real reason to believe that Mr. Warkentine had been involved in other incidents of illegal hunting and the Board felt that this was an improper exercise of his discretion.

    Mr. Warkentine had believed that his license had been suspended by the judge on his conviction. Since he believed he could not use it anyhow, he did not buy a license for the year. If the Assistant Deputy Director had been aware of this he might have taken this into account in determining the duration of the suspension. The Board returned the issue of the length of the suspension to the Assistant Deputy Director for reconsideration.

    The Assistant Deputy Director had also ordered that Mr. Warkentine should successfully complete the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) programme before regaining his hunting privileges. The Board upheld this decision. After reconsidering his decision the Assistant Deputy Director reduced the hunting prohibition by six months.