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Wasted meat leads to serious penalties


Poached moose
Ryan Hennings, manager of enforcement and compliance with Environment Yukon, displays the moose trophy from a 2011 hunt by Dougan and Tallerico.
Photo Credit: Yukon News

An American big-game hunter and his Canadian outfitter has been charged and fined for wasting meat and hunting illegally in Yukon.

The charges date back to 2011, when Wyoming resident Brian Tallerico hired outfitter Abe Dougan to guide a hunt in the Yukon. The two men arrived in the region on August 16, 2011 and were joined by two other individuals, including a photographer.

Tallerico had come to Yukon with the intent of harvesting a Stone Sheep, as he was working towards a North American sheep Grand Slam. The title is earned after hunting the four different North American wild sheep - Dall, Stone, Bighorn and Desert Bighorn. The Stone sheep would have been Tallerico’s second of the four.

Within minutes of landing, however, the group spotted and photographed a caribou. They shot and killed the animal within just two hours rather than waiting the required six hours following their flight.

“The six-hour rule is aimed at ensuring fair chase and the offense is commonly referred to as hunting by aircraft,” explains Environment Yukon.

Over the next four days the hunters also killed a sheep, a moose and a grizzly bear. But when the men returned back to the Environment Yukon office to get the required export permits needed to take the trophies back to the U.S., they only presented about 211 pounds of moose meat.

Typically, a boned-out moose weighs 450 pounds, a caribou about 225 pounds, and a sheep between 60 and 65 pounds. That makes an expected total of 740 pounds, over 500 more than what Tallerico and Dougan presented.

Conservation officers immediately became suspicious of the group, prompting them to seize the trophies and begin an investigation. They visited the area that the group had been hunting and discovered a considerable amount of wasted meat.

When questioned about the caribou, Tallerico and Dougan said that they killed the animal a day later than they actually had. Dougan also maintained that the sheep was killed in northwestern British Columbia, where he was licensed to hunt sheep.

But digital photos seized from the hunt showed that the men lied about the date of the caribou kill to conceal the fact they hunted within six hours of flying. Another photograph entered as evidence at the trial clearly shows Dougan with a sheep near a mountain that is in the Yukon, just north of the British Columbia - Yukon boundary.

With such decisive evidence against them, Brian Tallerico and Abe Dougan plead guilty in Yukon Territorial Court. They were sentenced on Wednesday.

Tallerico was ordered to pay $11,500 ($7,500 for wasting meat and $4,000 for violating the 6-hour rule) and is banned from hunting in the Yukon for 10 years.

Dougan was ordered to pay $15,000 ($10,000 for wasting meat and $5,000 for violating the 6-hour rule) and is banned from hunting and guiding in Yukon for 20 years.

Dougan is also facing 12 additional charges in British Columbia for further violations of the Wildlife Act.

The fines will go towards the Yukon Fish and Game Association TIPPS poachers fund.

Dougan will be making his next court appearance December 8, 2014 in Kamloops. 


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Hans-Peter B. - posted 3 years ago on 10-30-2016 01:28:25 am

I think that the post from 12-01-2014 of the "American Hunter" is outrageous all in itself. Those guys (Hunter Tallerico and guide Abe Dougan) ruined their own lives, it wasn't the authorities doing. Luckily they got caught. The animals are not stupid, and a statement like this is proof of the sheer ignorance and disrespect for wildlife on the "American Hunter's" part. The six hour rule is there in order to guarantee "Fair Chase" as animals can be spotted on a flight in, chased and shot, a practice that is illegal in Canada and in most places in the US as far as I know. And thank God, it is. Furthermore, the guide, Abe Dougan, was fully aware of all the rules, and chose to violate them. As far as I am concerned, men like him should have no business guiding in the first place. One more thing, I don't care how much money that client paid for his hunts, no money is enough to violate the rules, and fines imposed by our courts, are not ridiculous, they are there so hunting isn't becoming a free for all as suggested by our friend, the "American Hunter" who thinks hunters are entitled to game. It is hunting, buddy, and sometimes you get skunked. I know that, because i am a hunter myself and I am o.k. with that part of hunting. So suck it up!
Kudos to the Yukon's Fish and Game Association for taking these guys to task.
Canadian Hunter

American H. - posted 5 years ago on 12-01-2014 01:55:10 am

Correction: There's no Stone Sheep in Alaska, only Dall.

American H. - posted 5 years ago on 12-01-2014 01:23:31 am

This is just outrageous ! They don't need to destroy these guy's lives ! Wasting meat, especially in a wilderness trophy hunt, should not be considered illegal. I used to be a packer for a guide in Alaska and I know how difficult (impossible) it is to get all the meat out. Animals die in the wilderness every day and their meat goes to waste. It is not unethical. What IS unethical is how harsh the YFG is being !!

So what if he shot the caribou soon after landing the plane ! The guy probably paid tens of thousands of dollars to go to Canada on a guided hunt. Let him shoot a caribou if he wants !

As far as the Dall Sheep, it sounds like he was close to the unit boundary, not far from where he was licensed to hunt. He doesn't know the area and was just doing what his guide told him to do. Punish the guide, not him.

Tellerico (the hunter) was punished severely, but he will be OK. He can still hunt in the US and can get another Stone Sheep in Alaska. This guy Dougan is screwed. His career as a guide/outfitter is over. Given his job, he probably can't afford the ridiculous fines listed in this article, and he still faces 12 more charges ?! His life is ruined. Is it really necessary to destroy a man's life over some stupid animals?! I say take away his hunting and guiding licenses and let him walk.