Ontario hunters fined $9K for illegally shooting the wrong moose and trying to cover it up
Two Ontario hunters have been fined and had their licenses suspended after mistaking a bull moose for a cow moose, killing the animal illegally and lying to a conservation officer about it.
On Oct. 20, 2019, an Ontario court heard that René Lemieux and Manon Marcoux of Mattice were hunting on Barker Road south of Mattice when the former shot a bull moose.
Lemieux mistook the animal for a cow moose, which his hunting party was licensed to kill, and unlawfully harvested the animal for which he did not have a proper license.
"Upon realizing the mistake, a person who was not hunting with the group at the time was called to attend the scene and claim the moose under a lawful claim on the moose," reads a news release from the province.
"Conservation officers were in the area and intercepted the hunters while they were transporting the moose to their vehicle."
According to the province, the hunters provided false statements to the officers and claimed a First Nation member had shot the moose.
Conservation officers of the Hearst and Kapuskasing detachments then began an investigation into the matter and eventually discovered that the inital statements were false and an attempt to cover up what had actually happened.
As a result, Lemieux pleaded guilty to unlawfully hunting a moose without a licence, resulting in a fine of $5,000 and a two-year hunting suspension.
Marcoux meanwhile pleaded guilty to being in possession of illegally killed wildlife. She was fined $2,000 and was suspended from hunting in Ontario for one year.
Both hunters also pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a conservation officer and were fined $1,000 for the offence respectively.
The remaining person charged is scheduled to attend court at a later date.
"The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) wants to remind hunters that all cases of misidentification of moose which lead to a moose being hunted without a licence should be reported to a conservation officer immediately," says the province.
"MNRF conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the current COVID-19 pandemic and would like to remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy."
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