British Columbia

Fishing guide Andreas Handl fined $8K after deer gaff-hooked

A B.C. fishing guide is on the hook for $8,000 after his client tried to pluck a deer out of the ocean and into his boat with a gaff hook.

Facebook video of incident led conservation officers to lay charges

Conservation officers say they do not know whether the deer involved in the actual incident survived. (Misserion/Flickr)

A B.C. fishing guide is on the hook for $8,000 after his client tried to pluck a deer out of the ocean and into his boat with a gaff hook.

Andreas Handl, the owner of Kitimat's Kingfish Westcoast Adventures, pleaded guilty last week to two charges of harassing wildlife with a motor vehicle and hunting big game while it is swimming.

He was fined $1,150 and ordered to donate $7,000 to B.C.'s Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, according to B.C. Conservation Officer Ryan Gordon.

The incident began last May while Handl was out salmon fishing in Douglas Channel with a group from a bachelor party.

When they spotted the deer in the ocean one of the guests, Rodolfo Augusto Martins Lopes, attempted to hit it with a gaff and pull it into the boat.

But the gaff broke in half and the deer swam away with half the gaff on its body, got to shore and disappeared into the trees.

Gordon says it remains unclear why they decided to try to pull the deer into the boat in the first place.

"Your guess is as good as mine. I would assume they were trying to catch it to kill it to eat it," he said.

After the incident Lopes, who had also been celebrating the end of a long stint of work for a Portuguese subcontractor in Kitimat, returned to Europe and got married.

But when the video surfaced on Facebook, it came to the attention of  B.C. Conservation Officers and the charges were laid.

In September Lopes pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined and ordered to pay $5,000 to the same charity.

The charity's CEO, Brian Springinotic, said that money is now earmarked to help wildlife in the Kitimat area.


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