The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry wants to remind migratory bird hunters that proper permits are required and that the rules regarding baiting and shot size are in place to protect the resource for future generations.

Five men have been fined a total of $11,600 for migratory bird hunting-related offences. Conservation officers launched an investigation, which included the use of a remotely piloted aircraft system, after receiving a tip from the public.

Brett McLean and Guy Cooper of Mississauga, and Thomas Caravasilis of Toronto pleaded guilty to unlawfully depositing bait less than 14 days prior to the opening day for migratory birds. McLean, Cooper, Caravasilis, Thomas Davies of Gravenhurst and Lukas Timm of Orangeville pleaded guilty to hunting migratory birds within 400 metres of bait.

Court heard that on September 20, 2019, a conservation officer witnessed Cooper and McLean placing bait in a pond near the Town of Gravenhurst. The following day, conservation officers witnessed the hunters engaged in migratory bird hunting on the same pond. Further investigation found that Davies was hunting without a permit and using toxic shot. He also failed to carry the required accreditation while hunting with a firearm.

Justice of the Peace Doug Conley heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Bracebridge, on March 4, 2020.

MNRF conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the COVID-19 outbreak and would like to remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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 or contact your local ministry office. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit