Four fined for illegal moose hunt

the MNR

Four southern Ontario men have been convicted of charges related to illegal moose hunting.
Anton Gerritsen Jr. and Anton Gerritsen Sr., both of Cayuga, Shank A. Vanderheide of Canfield, and James E. Kruis of St. George each were fined $1,000 for obstructing a Ministry of Natural Resources’ conservation officer.
The two Gerritsens and Vanderheide each were fined $500 for illegally possessing a cow moose.
Gerritsen Jr. also was fined $250 for illegally possessing a calf moose, $1,500 for hunting cow moose without a licence, and $500 for failing to immediately attach a game seal to a harvested animal.
Gerritsen Sr. was fined an additional $500 for using a hunting licence that was issued to someone else.
Gerritsen Jr. was convicted on two counts and Gerritsen Sr. on one count of discharging a firearm across a roadway, and fined $1,000 and $500, respectively.
Both men are prohibited from hunting in Ontario for one year.
Kruis, meanwhile, was fined $1,500 for unlawfully transferring his moose game seal and is prohibited from hunting big game in Ontario for two years.
Court heard that during the fall of 2009, a conservation officer investigating tire tracks and a blood trail north of Terrace Bay was led to the campsite of Gerritsen Jr., Gerritsen Sr., and Vanderheide, where a moose cow and calf were hanging.
Through investigation, the officer determined the animals had been shot and killed on Goldfield Road by members of the hunting party.
Kruis did not attend the hunt, but gave his game seal to the hunting party, which attached it to the harvested cow.
The men told the officer that Kruis had been part of the party when, in fact, he did not attend the hunt.
Both DNA and ballistic evidence were used in the investigation.
The moose were seized and forfeited to the Crown.
Justice of the Peace John Guthrie heard the case Nov. 9 in Thunder Bay and Justice of the Peace Paul Macphail in Brantford on Sept. 29.
Meanwhile, an Ontario man was fined $3,500 for shooting a bull moose without a licence and leaving the animal to spoil.
David Huitson of Little Britain was fined $2,500 for hunting a bull moose without a licence and $1,000 for abandoning the moose carcass.
His firearm also was seized. It will be returned once the fines are paid.
Court heard that on Oct. 9, Huitson and his party were hunting off Mile 20 Pit Road near Sioux Lookout.
Huitson said he shot at what he thought was a calf, but later discovered it was a bull moose.
His hunting party already had filled its bull tag that morning, so Huitson abandoned the animal.
Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers received a call about the incident on the TIPS line.
An investigation led officers to the tourist camp where Huitson was staying. When they questioned Huitson, he admitted he had killed and abandoned the moose.
Justice of the Peace Daisy Hoppe heard the case Nov. 18 in Sioux Lookout.
The ministry reminds hunters that if they harvest a game animal, it is an offence to leave the flesh to spoil.
Hunters should contact TIPS-MNR or a conservation officer if they kill an animal by mistake.