Gronlid, Sask. man fined for illegal wildlife trafficking

Randall Wehrkamp was fined $36,500 for illegal wildlife trafficking after buying and selling antlers in Saskatchewan without a permit. Feb 10. Saskatchewan Environment Ministry / Supplied

A Gronlid, Sask., man has been fined and banned from hunting in the province after pleading guilty to illegal wildlife trafficking.

Conservation officers launched an investigation into Randall Wehrkamp in 2014 after receiving a tip that an individual was buying and selling large numbers of wild elk, moose and deer antlers without proper permits, Environment Ministry officials said.

READ MORE: Wildlife trafficking fine for Loon Lake, Sask. man

Officers said they inspected a yard near Gronlid at the time and spoke with the owner about the legality of buying and selling antlers.

As the investigation continued, conservation officers said the individual in question purchased antlers from them numerous times.

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A search of the property in November 2018 turned up 314 antlers and 19 complete sets of antlers and horns from wild elk, moose, white-tailed and mule deer, officials said.

Blue wildebeest horns Saskatchewan conservation officers seized at the property of Randall Wehrkamp. Saskatchewan Environment Ministry / Supplied

Also seized were several firearms, two which officers said were loaded.

Wehrkamp, 64, pleaded guilty recently to unlawful possession of wildlife, possession of wildlife for the purpose of trafficking, wildlife trafficking, improper record-keeping, and several firearms-related charges, the Environment Ministry said in a release Monday.

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He was fined $36,500, which officials said has been paid in full, and forfeited all antlers and horns, along with two firearms.

Wehrkamp also received a five-year hunting ban, and cannot sell, transfer or move antlers for the next five years without providing notice to a conservation officer, and is banned from possessing firearms, crossbows, ammunition or explosive substances for one year.

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He was also placed on probation for 12 months and must submit to warrantless searches of his residence and out-buildings by conservation officers.

Saskatchewan’s Environment Ministry says this is one of the loaded firearms seized from Randall Wehrkamp. Saskatchewan Environment Ministry / Supplied

Under Saskatchewan’s Wildlife Act and regulations, a sale of wildlife permit is required to sell most animal parts.

Big game antlers that have been removed from the skull can be sold without a permit provided the animal was taken with a valid hunting licence and the tag is with the antlers.

Shed antlers can be sold without a permit.

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