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NY: Local taxidermist barred from hunting in Canada

MIDDLEPORT: Local taxidermist barred from hunting in Canada

June 13, 2009
Staff Reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Daniel Vanderwalker, 55, owner of Northwoods Taxidermy in Middleport, has been barred from hunting in Canada for 10 years following his conviction in Ontario for illegally guiding bear hunters at Bear Management Area in Gowganda, Ontario.

Vanderwalker was convicted of assisting hunters to bait bears, butcher and prepare the carcasses for taxidermy. In return, his clients used his taxidermy services, according to a news release from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Vanderwalker was not licensed as a BMA operator in Ontario and did not have the proper immigration status to work in Ontario, the release said.

Vanderwalker reportedly took six to eight people hunting each year, although he reportedly told investigators he had taken as many as 19 people hunting in one year.

A typical fee for similar, but legal, services is about $1,200 per person.

Vanderwalker reportedly colluded with BMA operator David Runion of Northern Pine Camp, who provided Vanderwalker with reduced rates on accommodations in return for bringing American hunters to the camp.

In September 2008, Runion was fined $1,250 for possessing a mounted bear killed out of season. Runion was also convicted of failure to comply with the conditions of his BMA license and was fined another $2,000.

During his 10-year probation, Vanderwalker cannot participate in any aspect of a BMA and cannot associate with hunting activities.

All penalties for Vanderwalker apply only in Canada, according to the news release.

U.S. agents reportedly seized an illegally imported bear hide and skull from Vanderwalker’s home.

No charges have been filed against Vanderwalker in the United States.

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