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Turkey hunters plucked for thousands in fines for illegal hunting

Three men from Scarborough, Toronto and Cambridge have lost their hunting licences and now face significant fines for trespassing, hunting wild turkey out of season and unsafe hunting practices.

Forensic science helped conservation officers prove their case.

Hunters face significant fines and licence suspensions for illegal hunting in the Goderich area of Huron County. (submitted/Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Three hunters are facing $7,150 in fines for trespassing, hunting wild turkey out of season, and unsafe hunting practices, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF). 

It all started on the afternoon of Sept. 25, 2018 when a landowner in the Goderich area called Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to report men shooting on his property, close to where he was walking. 

The landowner saw the men, dressed in hunter orange, run from his property and get into a vehicle. Police made a traffic stop and then handed over the investigation to conservation officers from the MNRF.

Conservation officers used forensic science to match evidence seized from hunters in the Goderich area. (submitted/Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Those officers seized a shotgun, ammunition, and a wild turkey that was dropped as the men fled the property. 

Forensic investigation

With the help of the Centre of Forensic Sciences, conservation officers were able to match evidence left at the scene to the ammunition that was seized from the hunters. 

Three men have lost their hunting licenses and now face significant fines totalling more than $7,000. 

A Cambridge man pleaded guilty to trespassing and making a false statement to a conservation officer. He was fined $1,300.

A man from Toronto pleaded guilty to hunting wild turkey out of season and making a false statement to a conservation officer. His fine was $1,000.

A Scarborough man faced the highest fine of $4,850. He pleaded guilty to hunting wild turkey out of season, discharging a firearm from a vehicle, using a firearm carelessly to hunt, trespassing and making a false statement to a conservation officer. 

"Conservation officers with the MNRF want to remind people to hunt safely," said a news release issued by the MNRF. "Trespassing to hunt and shooting from a vehicle can result in significant fines and hunting licence suspensions."