SUDBURY -- A hunter from Hearst who accidentally shot and killed a bull moose, then left it in the woods to rot, has been fined $5,500 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

"MNRF wants to remind hunters that abandoning hunted wildlife suitable for human consumption is illegal," the ministry said in a news release Friday. "Individuals should contact a conservation officer if the wrong animal is hunted."

Keith MacCrae of Hearst was also handed a one-year hunting suspension after pleading guilty to possessing wildlife unlawfully killed and permitting flesh to become unsuitable for human consumption.

Other members of the hunting party were found guilty in a previous court appearance. In total, the hunting party has received $23,000 in fines and eight years in hunting suspensions.

"Court heard that on Dec. 7, 2018, MacCrae was hunting as a member of a party when a bull moose was hunted without a proper game seal," the release said. "His hunting party only possessed a cow moose game seal. After realizing the wrong animal had been hunted, members of the hunting party transported the moose away from the kill site."

Pulled by a snowmobile

The next day, a snowmobile was used to transport the moose to a remote location to avoid detection by conservation officers.

The remains of the bull moose were discovered by conservation officers through information received from the public and the use of a MNRF canine team.

"Once the bull moose remains were located, a lengthy investigation was conducted by conservation officers from the Hearst Enforcement Unit with assistance from the Timmins Enforcement Unit," the release said.

Justice of the Peace Jean-Marie Blier heard the case remotely in the Ontario Court of Justice on Feb. 23.

To report a natural resource violation or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll-free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, visit