Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development advises that conservation officers are continuing enforcement to protect Manitoba’s natural resources, including compliance checks for fisheries, addressing illegal hunting, and increasing the number of officers in the field.

On Oct. 16, a Swan River conservation officer was patrolling on designated Route Z, an area with a wildlife refuge on either side of the road, in the Duck Mountain Provincial Forest. The officer found two males on an ATV who said they were hunting deer. An inspection found that one of the men’s firearms was loaded. The subject was issued a $486 ticket for possessing a loaded firearm in a wildlife refuge.

On Oct. 3, conservation officers in the Riverton District got a tip about two individuals driving onto private property without permission and shooting at geese. Two hunters were seen collecting geese and heading west on Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 68 toward Arborg. The witness noted a Minnesota licence plate and followed the truck to a residence north of Arborg. Two hunters were charged with hunting on private property without permission under the Wildlife Act and fined $486, as well as hunting a migratory bird from a motorized vehicle and fined $390. Both charges include a one-year suspension from big game, migratory bird and game bird licences, upon conviction.

On Sept. 28, conservation officers from The Pas conducted an aircraft patrol of the backcountry focusing on hunting, angling and Crown land inspections. Officers found two individuals moose hunting within an area closed to that activity on Limestone Point Lake northwest of Snow Lake. The subjects were charged for hunting within the closure and their firearms were seized. The following day, officers located an individual angling on Takipy Lake northeast of Sherridon. The angler was a Saskatchewan resident who did not have a Manitoba angling license and was also found to have two loaded firearms in the boat. The man was charged for both offences.

On Sept. 19, conservation officers patrolling on PTH 83 south of Swan River, near the Saskatchewan border, saw a truck travelling north with a large set of moose antlers visible in the truck box. Officers stopped the vehicle and learned the moose had been harvested in Saskatchewan, and while the meat was processed properly, the head was still attached to the antlers. In order to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease, it is currently illegal to bring unprocessed deer, elk, moose or caribou into Manitoba. The head and antlers were seized, the male subject was given a ticket but allowed to keep the meat as it was processed and imported correctly.

In early September, Swan River conservation officers acted on a tip about someone hunting on private land without permission in the R.M. of Swan Valley West. Local RCMP had also reported seeing a male in possession of an elk head and elk parts in the same vicinity. The individual, currently under a big game licence suspension, admitted to an officer that he had shot the elk. Conservation officers, along with RCMP, executed a search warrant at the subject’s property and seized the elk parts. Subsequent investigation of another property turned up the rest of the elk meat, which was surrendered by the property owner. The subject admitted to retrieving the elk on private property without permission. Two men were issued appearance notices for court.