A man and woman from Melfort have been fined $15,705 for running an illegal outfitting operation.
Melfort conservation officers started the investigation after getting multiple tips from people in the area about an illegal outfitting operation for migratory bird hunts.
Undercover officers booked a hunt with the outfitters in September 2017 who provided guiding services and hunting equipment for a price. One of the accused told an undercover officer he could shoot his limit and his assistant’s limit of birds although they weren’t present on the hunt that day.
Officers searched a rural property on Sept. 15, 2017, seizing waterfowl hunting equipment. The search also revealed 29 filleted walleye fish, which was well above the limit of eight per year.
Garnet Roy Gunderson and Barbara Ann Lynne Gunderson pleaded guilty to the charges in Melfort Provincial Court on August 15, 2018. They were fined $3,875 under The Wildlife Act, $2,030 under The Fisheries Act and $9,800 for breaking Outfitter and Guide Regulations.
Garnet Gunderson is facing a one-year hunting suspension. The pair are suspended from angling for two years and also forfeited $20,000 worth of hunting equipment to the Crown.
The Ministry of Environment notes that public reports were crucial to holding people accountable for illegal hunting and fishing.