THUNDER BAY, ON ---- August 11, 2010 --- Four Ontario men have been fined a total of $7,000 for charges related to illegal moose hunting.
Todd Risto of Golden Lake pleaded guilty to illegally hunting a cow moose and making a false statement to a conservation officer. He was fined $2,850 and his hunting licence was suspended for two years. He also forfeited his rifle to the Crown.
David Welk of Eganville was fined $1,500 and given a one-year hunting licence suspension for attaching a tag to a moose shot by another person. He was fined an additional $350 for making a false statement to a conservation officer.
Barry Kumm and Brian Hanke, both of Eganville, were fined $1,000 each for possession of illegally killed wildlife. Hanke was fined an additional $300 for making a false statement to a conservation officer.
The court heard that on October 19, 2009, Risto, Hanke and Kumm were travelling down Highway 17, west of Ignace, when they spotted a cow moose in a swamp. Risto shot the cow moose, although his party's moose validation tag was for a bull moose. The group then contacted Welk, who had a cow tag, but was hunting more than 25 kilometres away. Welk arrived several hours later and tagged the moose, which the group then brought to Ignace. When questioned by Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers, the group first said they had all been hunting together when the moose was shot.
Justice of the Peace Gene Bannon heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Ignace, on July 27, 2010.
The Ministry of Natural Resources reminds hunters that all party members must actively participate in a hunt. They must all be hunting cooperatively in the Wildlife Management Unit or part of a unit for which their game seal is valid. All party members must be within five kilometres of the moose tag holder while hunting and be able to communicate immediately with other members of the party. Once an animal is killed, each member of the party must be immediately notified.
To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).