A Richmond man was fined $8,000 last month for wounding a deer at the Princeton Castle Resort.
Princeton circuit court heard the animal — a mule deer buck without antlers — lived for some time with its organs spilling from its abdomen before it was shot by a neighbouring resident to end its suffering.
Li Tan was charged with seven offences under the Wildlife Act.
He pleaded guilty to four counts and asked to be sentenced immediately. However, the session took an unusual turn when Li repeatedly told Judge Gregory Koturbash that he either did not commit the crimes or did not understand that he committed the crimes.
“I just want to explain,” said Li.
Li’s testimony, and comments from court officers, were interpreted through a Mandarin-English translator, who participated via telephone.
Court heard that on Nov. 6, 2018, Li was working at the resort when he sighted the deer.
He had a crossbow in his vehicle and one arrow, which he shot at the deer, hitting it in the stomach.
“But the deer kept running,” said Li.
Along with a companion, he then drove 4.2 kilometres to Princeton Outdoor Supply, where he purchased three more arrows. He returned to the resort and shot them all in an unsuccessful attempt to make the kill.
Li retrieved the animal after it eventually died, cut it into pieces which he put into bags, and drove to Richmond where he disposed of them in garbage cans.
Three days later he purchased a deer tag, cancelled the Nov. 6 date, and afterwards produced that documentation to a conservation officer.
Li was initially represented by duty counsel Paul Varga, but partway through the proceedings chose to speak for himself.
By that time the defence and Crown had agreed on the plea, a statement of facts and a joint submission for sentencing.
Li pleaded guilty to hunting without consideration, hunting without a license, wounding wildlife out of season, and failing to report wounding wildlife.
Afterwards, he made statements contradicting the agreement.
“I cannot be sure it was me who wounded the deer,” he said, pointing out there were no witnesses so it was not possible to know who shot the animal.
That prompted Koturbash to ask: “Is there an appropriate word for B.S. in Mandarin?”
Arguing in a loud voice Li said: “Nobody can prove if I shot at a wounded deer or a healthy one.”
Koturbash responded: “Do you think there was somebody behind you on a grassy knoll, that it was somebody else?”
The judge insisted Li admit to the offences for the record, or he would be forced to send the matter to trial.
In addition to the fines, Li was placed under a four-year hunting prohibition.
Jiang Luan, who drove Li to the Princeton hunting store, faced four counts under the Wildlife Act, however Crown agreed to dismiss those charges.
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