HINTON, Alta. — Five Alberta men have been found guilty of illegally hunting, killing and leaving four trophy bighorn rams to spoil.
The five pleaded guilty this week in provincial court in Hinton, about 285 kilometres west of Edmonton.
The investigation began in August 2013 after a complaint alleging trespassing and hunting in the boundaries of a reclaimed mine site that has been closed to hunting and entering for the past 30 years.
A Fish and Wildlife officer found a vehicle with five men inside.
The five denied hunting or shooting anything on the mine site, but DNA samples were recovered and subsequent investigation found the they all killed the bighorn rams within the reclaimed site.
Timothy Yach, Anthony Yach, Tyler Yach, Matthew Lecerf, and Seth Gould, all of Sylvan Lake, were fined a total of $24,500.
Seven thousand, five hundred dollars of the total fine will go to the Alberta Fish and Wildlife enforcement branch forensic and DNA research program and $6,000 will go to the provincial aerial ungulate survey program.
All five men have had their hunting licences suspended for one year.
"All four trophy rams, including the head and meat, were left to spoil," Alberta Fish and Wildlife said in a post on its Facebook site.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife also thanked those who called in with information.