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Illegal moose hunters fined $56.5K, suspended for 27 years in northern Ont.

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A remote hunting outpost, its former owner and 10 others have been fined a total of $56,500 after pleading guilty to various charges related to illegal moose hunting in northern Ontario.

Ontario conservation officers conducted a yearlong investigation between October 2020 and 2021 into illegal moose hunting in a fly-in-only area north of Kenora, including Eagle, Chase and Snowshoe lakes.

"A special investigation was initiated from information received from the public, as well as from previous investigations to address the ongoing issue of illegal moose hunting with allegations of discharging a firearm from a watercraft, using an aircraft while hunting, hunting without a licence and other offences under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act," Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said in a news release Friday.

The individual cases were heard by various justices of the peace in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kenora through 2023 and 2024.

Combined, the convicted parties have 27 years of hunting licence suspensions as a result, MNRF said.

Fly-in fishing and hunting company 1526085 Ontario Inc., which operates as Walsten Outpost Cabins in Kenora, pleaded guilty to hunting a bull moose without a license and received a $10,000 fine.

Former owner Kevin Walsten pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a conservation officer and was fined $3,000. He sold the business in 2022, the company's website said.

Three Kenora men, Scott MacIntosh, Russel Canfield and Travis Young, pleaded guilty to charges involving using boats to pursue wildlife and firearms.

MacIntosh received the highest fine of the trio, $9,500, and was ordered to retake the hunter education safety course. He is guilty of using a firearm carelessly to hunt.

Canfield received a three-year hunting licence suspension, was fined $9,000 and is guilty of hunting a bull moose without a license and having a loaded firearm in a boat.

Young was also fined $9,000 and has been suspended from hunting for six years. He is also guilty of hunting a bull moose without a licence and discharging a firearm from a boat as well.

Five men from Minnesota were also found guilty.

Tim Jones of Burnsville also pleaded guilty to hunting a bull moose without a licence and discharging a firearm from a boat. He was fined $7,000 and suspended from hunting for 10 years.

David and Allen Flynn along with Garry Jones Jr. and Sr. pleaded guilty to having an illegally killed bull moose and were each fined $500 and suspended from hunting for two years.

Finally, Wayne Heikoop of Powassan and Thomas Shields of Smithville pleaded guilty to discharging firearms from a boat and were each fined $3,500. 

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