HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. – Earlier this month, a judge handed a “prolific offender” from Hudson’s Hope a $5,000 fine and a five-year hunting ban for hunting wildlife with the use of a light.

According to the BC Conservation Officer Service, the ruling came after an investigation into an incident that took place during a 2017 night hunting decoy operation in the Peace region.

The BCCOS says the decoy was shot during the operation, and the offender, Justin Thibault, was tracked down by officers, who then seized his truck in Dawson Creek.

During the investigation, they also discovered numerous Wildlife Act and Fisheries Act offences involving the riverboat, which was seized near Halfway River.

Last year, Thibault pleaded guilty to a similar incident near Farrell Creek in Fort St. John provincial court.

It’s not the first time Thibault has been in court for violating the Wildlife Act. He was arrested in June 2020 after RCMP confiscated a caged black bear cub from a Farrell Creek property as part of a theft investigation.

Thibault was also in court in 2020 for allegedly harassing an elk on the Peace River in Hudson’s Hope in 2019.

Both the truck and riverboat were forfeited following the court decision in March.

“The Civil Forfeiture Act was created to ensure that people cannot profit from unlawful activity or use property in a way that may harm other people,” said the BCCOS.

The service says the Civil Forfeiture Act targets the proceeds and instruments of crime and has been utilized by the BCCOS on several other occasions.

With files from Tom Summer, Alaska Highway News

Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.