The MLA for Strathmore-Brooks will have his day in court early next year after he was allegedly trespassing and in possession of a prohibited white-tailed deer while hunting in central Alberta in early November.

Derek Fildebrandt is accused of entering private property without permission on November 4, 2017 near the town of Sundre. The former Wildrose turned United Conservative Party MLA is said to have had bagged a white-tailed deer contrary to the Wildlife Act. Court documents do not indicate the nature of Fildebrandt’s alleged Wildlife Act violation.

Fildebrandt is scheduled to appear in Didsbury Provincial Court on February 2, 2018.

On Wednesday afternoon, Fildebrandt issued the following statement regarding the allegations.

“I was deer hunting in an area that I did not know well and mistakenly thought that I was on crown lease land," said Fildebrandt. "I shot a deer and immediately tagged it. I found out soon afterwards that the land was private and immediately apologized to the owner. I donated the deer to the local food bank afterward. I took full responsibility in my conversation with the owner and Fish and Wildlife Officer and am deeply sorry for the accident."

"I again apologize to the land owner for my accident. “

In August of this year, the MLA removed himself from the UCP caucus after he admitted to, and apologized for, renting out his government-subsidized apartment on Airbnb and misusing government funds in his claiming of meal allowances.