Charges have now been laid under the Wildlife Act against a man who is accused of hunting with a drone.
Conservation Officer Joel Kline says he believes it is the first time that this type of charge has went through the court system in BC.
Here, he explains the two charges.
“The first charge speaks to possessing a drone. A person possessing a drone while they are actually on a hunting expedition or in the act of hunting, so it is illegal to possess a drone. There is too much of a temptation to use it for the wrong reason, is the use of a drone to look for animals or search for animals which is not considered fair chase. And the second charge is the actual operation of that drone while on a hunting expedition.”
Kline says there are a few possible outcomes from the charges or possibly even a combination of them…
“There are some options when it goes to court and it usually depends on discussions between crown counsel and defense, but usually there is some sort of monetary fine that goes with a conviction on these counts. We can also look at hunting prohibitions, so taking people’s hunting licenses away as a penalty, and/or forfeitures, so items that have been seized can be forfeited to the crown.”
Rui Ai is due back in provincial court in Prince George on February 24th on these charges.
He is also facing criminal charges in connection with this case.
Ai is due back in court on February 11th on those charges.
The BC Conservation Service says four loaded firearms, including a 44 magnum handgun, and a drone were seized from a vehicle at a check stop in October of 2019.