Rimbey Mounties have arrested three individuals west of Rimbey for hunting elk at night. A 17-year old male from Rimbey and two adults from Alhambra have been charged.
RCMP issued the following statement regarding the arrests:
On Sunday, November 17, 2013, at approximately 9:30 p.m., an alert citizen contacted police to report a suspicious truck driving on Leedale Road near Highway 766 without any headlights on.
Officers quickly responded to the scene as this is known to be a highly targeted area by poachers who hunt at night.
Within minutes police stopped a Dodge truck driving on Leedale Road where elk could be seen in the field by the moonlight.
When the officer approached the vehicle, he observed the front passenger holding a spotlight with a loaded rifle in his possession. The driver and back passenger also had loaded high-powered rifles.
All occupants of the vehicle, including the 17-year-old driver, had been drinking.
The subsequent investigation found that the driver had shot at a bull elk from the roadway with a scoped rifle near a residence at night while the passenger utilized a spotlight so the shooter could see the elk better. It is not known at this time whether the bull elk was wounded or not as the investigation into this matter continues.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers were in the immediate area and also quickly responded and assisted the RCMP in this case.
In total, police laid 14 charges for Wildlife Act, Traffic Safety Act and Liquor Act offences, including hunting in a dangerous manner, hunting at night, discharging a firearm from a roadway, hunting while impaired and hunting on occupied land without permission. Police seized the pickup truck as well as the three rifles. The driver has had his operator’s license suspended for 30 days for driving a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol.
In this case, the offences took place only one mile from where two large bull moose were shot and left to rot and only their antlers taken by poachers last November. That case still remains unsolved.
The RCMP will continue to aggressively target individuals involved in illegal activities and will use every possible tool and agency available.
The RCMP wishes to remind those that are involved in criminal activity that any assets used to a commit crime will be seized as offence related property.
Rimbey Mounties and Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officers have been diligently working together in partnership to put an end to the frequent poaching in the area.
Officers have proactively approached landowners and asked them to immediately call police or Report a Poacher at 1-800-642-3800 to report suspicious persons or vehicles.