SUDBURY -- Two hunters from southern Ontario have been convicted of illegally hunting black bear at night while in the north, fined $3,000 and one ordered to forfeit his firearm.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) said in a news release the hunting partners were contacted by conservation officers Aug. 24, 2019, as they were returning to a temporary residence in St. John Township.

"The two had been hunting for black bear beyond legal hunting time over a known bear baiting station," the MNRF said. "Upon inspection, an un-encased, loaded firearm was discovered on their all-terrain vehicle. A scope with night vision capability and infrared lighting was attached to the firearm."

As a result, a man from Fisherville pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to unlawfully hunting black bear at night and for having a loaded firearm on an all-terrain vehicle. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to forfeit his firearm.

A hearing for the other individual, from Selkirk, was held virtually on Nov. 19 in court in Timmins and was fined $2,000 for the same two charges, but did not have to turn over any weapons.

It is unclear whether the hunters had a valid tag or if their hunt was successful. CTV News has reached out to MNRF for more information.

The MNRF reminds hunters that hunting at night is dangerous and illegal.

To report a natural resource violation or submit a tip call the ministry at 1-877-847-7667.

Read more about Ontario's Black Bear hunting regulations here.