North

B.C. hunters convicted by own photos, 13 years later

Environment Canada wildlife authorities used two hunters' own photos from 2002 to convict them for an illegal Yukon sheep hunt.

'Embarrassing mistake' costs each $7,500 and they must forfeit trophy mounts

Scott Mackenzie with his 2002 trophy ram. (Environment Canada)

Two B.C. sheep hunters have been convicted and fined after pleading guilty to an illegal hunt in the Yukon almost 13 years ago.

Prosecutors used the men's own trophy photos from their 2002 hunt to convict them.

The sentencing on May 29 was based on a joint submission from prosecutors and defence, and an agreed statement of facts.

In August 2002, the court heard, Scott Mackenzie and Michael Makasoff chartered a plane to fly south out of Whitehorse to the west end of Bennett Lake, intending to hunt on the B.C. side near the Yukon border. At the pilot's suggestion, the pair landed further west than they'd intended, where Mackenzie and Makasoff each killed a Dall sheep.

Neither realized they had crossed the border into Yukon, the court heard, as they had no GPS or maps for the alternate location on hand.

Both men were "embarrassed and remorseful" of the mistake, court heard.

Both must forfeit their sheep mounts and pay fines of $7,500 each.

Trophy on display

For years, a photo of Mackenzie's trophy sheep was displayed in the cookshack at one of his B.C. hunting camps.

Michael Makasoff with his trophy sheep. Court was told last week both men are 'embarrassed and remorseful' for their mistake in hunting on the Yukon side of the border with B.C. (Environment Canada)

That is until 2012, when someone recognized the kill site, and tipped authorities that it was not in B.C. but in the Yukon.

Investigators followed up with a helicopter trip to the site, and determined it was actually 14 kilometres inside the Yukon border.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Scott Mackenzie was guiding Michael Makasoff when the illegal hunt occurred. In fact, he was not. This story has also been altered to add more context around how the hunters ended up inside the Yukon border. The CBC apologizes for the error.
    Jun 03, 2015 1:21 PM CT

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.