Man jailed for killing lynx, bears

A Blue River, Wisc. man has been sentenced to six months in jail for illegally hunting and killing black bears and a Canadian lynx in the Ignace area during the summers of 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Adam Lawinger, 28, pleaded guilty to 21 charges. He has been banned from hunting in Ontario for life. The three black bears and one Canada lynx killed by Lawinger have been forfeited to the Crown.
Lawinger is now serving a two-year sentence in the United States for offences resulting from an investigation conducted jointly by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Ontario Court of Justice did not impose a fine because Lawinger had already been fined $80,000 in the United States and his inability to pay any further fines was taken into consideration.
Court heard that during the summer of 2002, Lawinger acted as a bear hunting guide for three U.S. hunters who were staying with an Ignace area outfitter who was not accredited to issue non-resident black bear hunting licence validation certificates. The four men harvested four bears illegally. Lawinger also shot a Canada lynx without a licence and illegally transported it into the United States.
To hunt legally, a non-resident must have the validation certificate in addition to the non-resident black bear hunting licence.
In 2003, Lawinger returned to hunt black bear in the Ignace area. He obtained a non-resident black bear hunting licence from the outfitter but, once again, had no validation certificate to hunt bear legally.
In 2004, Lawinger again returned to hunt black bear in the Ignace area and acted as a guide for two hunters from the United States. None of the men had a validation certificate.
Lawinger and one of the non-resident hunters also used Lawinger’s girlfriend’s black bear licence to illegally seal an additional bear. She did not hunt black bear; she did not possess a firearm, and she had left the camp and returned to her home in Wisconsin before the bears were killed.
In all, four black bears were killed illegally in 2004.
In each of the three years, the hides and skulls were exported and the black bear meat, suitable for food, was illegally abandoned and left to spoil.
Justice of the Peace Robert Michels heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Ignace on Aug. 1, 2006.