Five Quebec men fined after pleading guilty to illegal hunting near Moose Jaw

Five men from Quebec were fined a total of nearly $50,000 after pleading guilty to illegally hunting near Moose Jaw.

An investigation into illegal hunting activities near Moose Jaw began in 2016 and included a two-week surveillance operation in October 2017 involving two separate group of hunters, the province said Friday in a news release.

As part of the investigation, officers collected evidence showing parties were wasting migratory birds. Investigators also searched a vehicle and trailer belonging to one of the Quebec residents and discovered the men “were also illegally hunting big game animals and shooting protected species,” the province said.

A total of 65 federal and provincial charges were laid against the five men. In Moose Jaw provincial court on Thursday, a 41-year-old man from Beauharnois pleaded guilty to six charges and was fined $18,310; a 39-year-old man from Beauharnois pleaded guilty to six counts and was fined $11,770; a 55-year-old man from Beauharnois pleaded guilty to four counts and was fined $6,790, a 43-year-old man from Chateauguay pleaded guilty to three counts and was fined $5,400; and a 32-year-old man from Salaberry-De-Valleyfield pleaded guilty to three counts and was fined $5,400.

In addition to the $47,670 in total fines, all five men were issued five-year provincial hunting suspensions and one-year federal hunting suspensions. Firearms and hunting equipment seized during the investigation were forfeited to the Crown.

The men were charged federally under the Migratory Bird Convention Act, the Wild Animal and Plant Protection Act, and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act. The men were charged provincially under The Wildlife Act and Regulations. Criminal Code charges were laid, as well, for causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or bird.

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