The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry wants to remind hunters that unsafe practices like shooting on or across a road and having loaded firearms in vehicles pose a serious threat to the public and other hunters.

Each year, the ministry’s tips line receives thousands of calls, many related to unsafe hunting practices.

In the fall of 2018, conservation officers responded to public complaints about unsafe deer hunting in the Warkworth area by conducting a deer decoy operation.

On December 5, 2018, during the deer muzzle loader season, conservation officers placed a deer decoy in an open area off the roadway. That afternoon, a truck travelling east along the concession road slowed down and came to a stop. A man pointed a shotgun out the driver’s side window of the truck and fired three shots at the decoy. Conservation officers arrested the man while he was still stopped in front of the decoy.

An Oshawa man was charged under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act for using a firearm carelessly to hunt, unlawfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle, hunting deer without a licence, hunting while trespassing, and using an illegal firearm during the deer hunt.

Justice of the Peace Joni Glover heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice in Cobourg on June 12, 2019. Carter pleaded guilty to the charges, was fined a total of $5,000, had his hunting licence suspended for a year and forfeited his shotgun. He will need to retake the Ontario Hunter Education Program and pass the exam before being allowed to purchase a hunting licence again in Ontario.

Ministry conservation officers work tirelessly to help make sure we can all enjoy Ontario’s natural resources in a safe and respectful manner. To report a natural resource violation, call the ministry TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free, or contact your local ministry office. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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