A Canadian man faces an eight-year hunting ban for illegally harvesting an elk in a no-hunt zone and then lying to authorities. Earlier this week, Marc Meyer of the Yukon territory pleaded guilty to two counts of illegal hunting and one count of making false statements, both under the territorial Wildlife Act. Meyer, 36, now faces $11,000 in fines and a massive multi-year ban for the illegal hunting.
According to the CBC, court documents reveal Meyer did possess a proper license for elk hunting in a specialty area called the exclusion zone. The zone is a large block of land in southern Yukon encircling two other zones called the core and buffer zones. Virtually all elk in the territory reside in these internal zones.
Elk hunting is not allowed in the core zone, while elk hunting in the buffer zone requires a different kind of permit. Meyer’s exclusion zone permit did not allow him hunting rights in either of the aforementioned internal zones.
Meyer, however, knowingly hunted cow elk in the core zone on both Sept. 30, 2020, and Oct. 11, 2021; and then twice wrote a false report claiming that the kills occurred in the exclusion zone. In 2021, he even took extra precautions to hide the illegal kill: field-butchering the elk; and then driving its skeleton and entrails 30 miles west into the exclusion zone. Meyer also dumped the elk’s remains to make it appear like he’d killed it there in the exclusion zone.
Meyer said he deeply regrets hunting the elk, which led to a massive fine and eight-year ban
Conservation officers opened a case against Meyer after receiving a tip about a potential illegal kill site. Once suspicions were confirmed, police obtained warrants to search Meyer’s home, vehicle and electronic device. They also conducted forensic analyses of Meyer’s guns and of DNA.
Meyer initially stuck with his original story, but eventually admitted to illegally killing the animal in the core zone. He also confessed to the 2020 illegal hunt during questioning.
Meyer’s defense attorney worked in concert with local authorities to prepare a joint submission for sentencing. They sought $3,500 fines for each illegal kill and a $4,000 fine for the false reporting. During sentencing, local courts emphasized the importance of trust and honesty in the territories. Conservation officers cannot possibly patrol every square inch of land there, so local authorities rely on good relationships with hunters to maintain the rules.
Addressing the court directly, Meyer, who lost his mining job as a result of the charges, said he deeply regretted his actions.
“Words can’t even describe how upset and mad I am at myself for what I’ve done,” he said, adding that the illegal elk hunting ban had “blown up” his career and ruined friendships. “Everything that I’m getting, I deserve.”
Meyer also had to forfeit his guns, elk meat, and truck as part of the punishment. The court said it will return the truck after he pays his $11,000 fine.