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Three Okanagan men fined for hunting on private property following guilty pleas

Penticton Indian Band stands by three members guilty of trespassing

Three Okanagan men have each been fined $500 after pleading guilty to trespassing on private property to hunt.

The trio appeared in Penticton court on Tuesday morning, each pleading guilty to one count of trespassing.

The incident involves the shooting and killing of two elk in January of 2017 on private property along Greyback Mountain Road in Penticton. No hunting signs were visible on the property’s fence at the time.

WATCH BELOW:Conservation Officer Mike Stern reacts to the outcome of a hunting case that ended with fines for three Penticton hunters and explains why the case was taken so seriously.
Fines issued for three Okanagan men who trespassed onto private property to hunt.
Fines issued for three Okanagan men who trespassed onto private property to hunt.

READ MORE: Penticton woman wants legal action after elk hunted on private land

The men, Cole, Felix and Fred Kruger, were all charged under the Wildlife Act, 10 months after the incident.

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The charges included unlawful possession of dead wildlife, trespassing and discharging a firearm in a “no-shooting” area.

READ MORE: Charges laid in alleged Penticton area elk poaching incident

The men all belong to the Pentiction Indian Band.

First Nations people do not have to follow all the same hunting regulations as non-native hunters. They can hunt wildlife without bag limits or seasonal restrictions for traditional, ceremonial or sustenance purposes.

However, native hunting rights do not include harvesting on private property without permission from the land owner.

Two other charges against the men — unlawful possession of dead wildlife and discharging a firearm in a “no-shooting” area — were stayed.