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Derek Fildebrandt charged with illegal deer kill on private land

An Alberta member of the legislature who is already dealing with charges of hit and run is now facing accusations of illegally shooting a deer.

Strathmore-Brooks MLA says he didn't realize he was on private land and has apologized

Derek Fildebrandt, MLA for Strathmore-Brooks, is charged with unlawful possession of wildlife and entering into private land without permission. (Mike Symington/CBC)

An Alberta member of the legislature who is already dealing with charges of hit and run is now facing accusations of illegally shooting a deer.

Derek Fildebrandt, the Independent member for Strathmore-Brooks, has been charged with unlawful possession of wildlife and entering onto private land without permission.

Alberta Justice says that on the afternoon of Nov. 4, fish and wildlife officers were called about a deer shot on private land without permission from the landowner in a field near Sundre in west-central Alberta.

Fildebrandt is to appear in court Feb. 2 in Didsbury, and is not taking issue with the charge.

At the Alberta Legislature on Wednesday, deputy premier Sarah Hoffman called the charges against Fildebrandt disappointing.

"I can't help but stop and take a sigh to think about all the people out there hunting and putting food on their family's tables in an safe and ethical way and we expect that from all Albertans," Hoffman said. 

In a statement, Fildebrandt says he didn't realize he was on private land when he shot the animal, has apologized to everyone involved, and has donated the deer meat to a local food bank.

He is due in court in Edmonton on Monday for a verdict on a charge of hitting a neighbour's van in June 2016 and then driving away.

With files from Michelle Bellefontaine