GORE BAY—A Noelville man has been fined $500 for having harvested a deer in last fall’s annual deer hunt on Manitoulin Island and not taking the proper steps to make sure the meat did not go bad.
In Gore Bay court recently, Justice McKechnie and court heard that David Timony, age 72 years of Noelville, plead ed not guilty to the charges. The charges relate to an investigation carried out by conservation officers with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) on November 19, 2015 on 600 Lake Huron Drive in Spring Bay, on the possession of a deer that had been left and the meat had spoiled.
Dan Williams, prosecutor for the MNRF, brought forward three witnesses, two MNRF conservation officers (CO) and a meat cutter at Manitoulin Meats. “I did have a discussion with Mr. Timony outside the court room, and he agreed to a few facts,” he said. “He agrees a person harvested a buck white tailed deer, and he was responsible for partially removing some of the internal organs of the deer.”
Kyle Wood, a CO with the MNRF, told the court that on November 19, 2015 he was working with CO Tyler Grant and on that date they met with Mr. Timony on his friend’s property. Officers inspected his hunting licence and firearm and assisted in looking at the harvested deer itself, which the accused had harvested on November 16, 2015. It was located hanging on a tree on the property near the hunt camp.
Mr. Wood testified that he first noticed a pungent smell coming from the dead animal from about 15 feet away as they approached the deer. He explained there were two deer hanging on the pole, and he inspected Mr. Timony’s licence and one deer. A large part of the stomach and organs had been removed, but the chest cavity had not been opened.
“It smelt like rotting deer flesh,” said Mr. Wood, noting the meat was deteriorating. He told court, “when I first contacted Mr. Timony he explained he was on a friend’s property, a 100 acre parcel of land, when he harvested the deer.
“I’ve never seen deer hanging several days on a pole, with the heart and lung intact and the chest cavity having not opened; or an animal deer left in the condition this deer was, the meat was deteriorating,” said Mr. Wood.
Mr. Wood said after the investigation he had a brief discussion with Mr. Timony, and not being an expert he didn’t know if the meat had been wasted, so the animal was taken to a local butcher shop to see if the deer meat was suitable for human consumption, and if it was it would be returned to the accused.
The local meat cutter said the meat would not be processed because it was not suitable for human consumption.
Mr. Timony told the court he has hunted with his friend and his hunting party for a number of years locally. However, he explained he had surgery on his eyes last October and had told his friend (who owns the property the hunt took place) that he wouldn’t be able to lift anything or properly clean any deer he harvested because of complications with his eyes. “I told him I don’t think I can hunt this year, but be said there will be 16 people in the hunt camp and we will take care of properly cleaning any deer that I harvest.”
On the opening morning of the hunt, Mr. Timony said he harvested a small buck whitetail deer. “I tried to properly clean it, and had done some of the work on the deer, until I couldn’t take the pain in the back of my head. I met Mark (one of the hunt camp members) on the trail and he said no problem, that they would clean the deer.”
“I told him it (deer) had not been fully cleaned out, and for the rest of the hunt season I stayed in my trailer-I didn’t go to the hunt camp,” Mr. Timony told court. He said he assumed the deer had been properly cleaned by other members of the hunt camp, as they had said they would, but it hadn’t taken place.
In his submission to the court, Mr. Timony said, “I don’t think I should be convicted, there were a lot of other people involved. My friend, the owner of the property, knew I had had surgery on my eyes and couldn’t lift anything and he convinced me to come for the hunt. They knew they would have to help if I shot a deer and they shouldn’t have said they would look after everything if they weren’t going to.”
Mr. Williams said that, “despite medical problems and the promise of help from members of his hunt party Mr. Timony was still responsible for the deer shot, responsible for handling of wildlife and making sure it would be used for human consumption. But he didn’t do this, and assumed his friends would complete the work to clean the deer properly. But this turned out badly.” He requested the court convict and fine the accused.
Justice McKechnie said that regardless of Mr. Timony’s health condition, and the promises made by members of his hunt party to help, “the bottom line is that it is your responsibility as a hunter having shot a deer sure the necessary steps would be taken to take care of the harvested deer. I can understand that you tried your best to clean the deer, and assumed your friends would help, but they didn’t. Regardless, the responsibility is yours.”
Mr. Timony was convicted and fined $500.