MNRF hunting charges down from last year

MANITOULIN—Rifle season on Manitoulin was quiet from both an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) standpoint, with conservation officers (COs) laying significantly less charges over last year.

“The MNRF (COs) contacted 231 individuals and laid 28 charges and 32 warnings,” said MNRF Supervisor Dave Scarlett.

This is down from last year when there were a total of 52 charges laid and 53 warnings issued. In 2015, the MNRF connected with 318 hunters, laying 36 charges and issuing 84 warnings. In 2014, the MNRF laid 41 charges and connected with 642 hunters, while in 2013 they only laid 11 charges (an uncommonly low year). In 2012 the number of charges was also 41, while in 2011 there were 33 charges laid and 50 in 2010.

The breakdown of the 28 charges laid this year were: three hunting big game without a licence; three failure to immediately attach seal to deer; seven unlawfully possessing a firearm at night; five unlawfully having a loaded firearm in a conveyance; one failure to wear hunter orange; one failure to wear a proper helmet; three trespassing for the purpose of hunting; two interfere with lawful hunt; one failure to notify party of kill; one hunting without having a licence on person; and one failure to provide required information on seal.

Community Services Officer Constable Marie Ford with the Manitoulin Detachment of the OPP said that it was a quiet week for police enforcement too.

“We had lots of RIDE checks which resulted in (charging) one impaired driver,” said Constable Ford. “It was a very quiet week generally, which is good. A lot of people were staying at their camps. We had another call regarding individuals shooting from the road but we directed that to the MNRF.”

Last week the Manitoulin Detachment of the OPP had 150 calls for service with charges including: one driving under suspension; one liquor licence charge; 10 other Highway Traffic Act violations; and 19 speeding charges.