Three-year investigation, DNA evidence lead to $5,250 fine

A LaSalle, Ontario man pleaded guilty to illegal hunting and was fined $5,250 following a three-year Ministry of Natural Resources investigation.
Dennis J. Dundara, 48, will have his rifle returned after he has paid the fine. Due to a self-imposed hunting suspension for the last two seasons, he will not be banned from hunting.
Court heard that on December 5, 2003, Dundara shot and killed two bull moose in the Little Posh Lake area near the Camp 45 road network.
He did not have a tag for either animal. He took one of the moose home and gave the other one to a local trapper whose cabin he and three other men were using for hunting.
The next day Ministry of Natural Resources Thunder Bay District conservation officers discovered two moose heads with the antlers sawn off in front of the trapper’s cabin. Two of the hunters at the cabin told officers different stories about who harvested the moose.
On Jan. 8, 2004, the officer recovered the two moose from the bush. On May 7, 2004, the officer located the kill site and recovered hair samples from where the moose was dragged out of the bush as well as four rifle casings.
With a warrant, officers searched Dundara’s home in LaSalle on January 13, 2005.
They seized a rifle that had been hidden under the family room couch, cartridges and meat samples from the freezer. Dundara admitted being at the kill site but said that his spent rifle casings were from shots that he fired because he was lost. He insisted that the meat was deer meat only.
On Feb. 22, 2005, forensic analysis confirmed that the rifle casings discovered at the kill site matched Dundara’s rifle.
On June 16, 2005, DNA analysis confirmed that the meat samples seized from his home matched one of the moose heads.
Justice of the Peace Robert Michels heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Thunder Bay on Aug. 2, 2006.
The ministry reminds the public that hunting regulations are in place to protect the sustainability of moose populations and to give all hunters a fair opportunity to take part in the hunt.
The rules for “Party Hunting for Moose” can be found on page 31 of the 2006 Hunting Regulations Summary or can be viewed at: www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/pubs/pubmenu.html
Call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time to report a natural resources violation or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.
You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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