Night deer hunting allowed for BC natives, says Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada has determined that two Aboriginal men from British Columbia can hunt deer at night.
In many provinces, night hunting is illegal. In their dissenting opinions, some justices pointed out that this opens up hunting to unsafe practices.
In a 4-3 decision, the court overturned the convictions of Ivan Morris and Carl Olsen, members of the Tsartlip First Nation of Vancouver Island.
The two First Nation men were charged in 1996 after they fired at a decoy deer set up by conservation officers to catch people hunting illegally at night with flashlights.
Drawing upon historical information, the Supreme Court said a treaty signed in 1852 allows the Tsartlip to hunt using traditional methods and that included hunting at night with light and fire, the judges said.
A provincial court convicted Morris and Olsen of violating B.C.'s Wildlife Act, which does not allow hunting at night with lights. A court of appeal upheld the conviction.