Three County residents have been fined for illegal moose hunting in Haliburton Forest during the 2019 moose hunt.

According to Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, five men – the other two from out of the County – have been fined a total of $17,900 for illegal moose hunting activities involving a bull and a cow moose in the Forest in October of 2019.

The case was heard on June 15, 2021 and a press release issued Aug. 20.

In the press release, the ministry said “The Ontario government wants to remind hunters that when party hunting to follow all requirements and not make false statements to conservation officers.”

Patrick Morrison of Haliburton pleaded guilty to unlawfully hunting a bull moose without a licence and unlawfully hunting a cow moose without a licence and was fined $6,000.

Steven Forrest of Bobcaygeon pleaded guilty to unlawfully hunting a bull moose without a licence and unlawfully hunting a cow moose without a licence and was fined $5,750.

Robert Robinson of Ashburn pleaded guilty and was fined $1,950 for making a false statement to a conservation officer and $1,750 for unlawfully enabling someone else to use a licence or component of a licence issued to oneself.

Colin Morrison of Haliburton pleaded guilty and was fined $1,750 for unlawfully using a licence, or component of a licence issued to someone else.

Craig Stamp of West Guilford pleaded guilty and was fined $700 for unlawfully transporting wildlife that was unlawfully killed.

The court heard that on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, a conservation officer conducted an inspection of a hunt camp in the Forest and found a dead cow and calf moose that had been shot. The cow moose had a cow tag attached that was issued to Robinson and notched for that morning at 8 a.m. The officer spoke with Robinson over the phone who claimed he had been there and left at lunch that day.

The investigation revealed that three moose – a bull, a cow, and a calf – were all harvested on Oct. 23, 2019 by Forrest. There were no individuals with a bull moose tag or cow moose tag actively participating in the hunt when the moose were shot. Robinson had left his cow moose tag behind with Colin Morrison who notched and affixed the tag. Stamp had assisted in transporting the moose out of the bush. Patrick Morrison had informed the hunting group that they had more moose tags than they did. The bull moose was left in the bush but then later brought out and identified to officers so it wouldn’t spoil. Justice of the Peace Ronald Prestage heard the case remotely in the Ontario Court of Justice.

The release said “conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the current COVID19 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.”

To report a natural resource violation or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, visit ontario.ca/ mnrftip

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