The Ontario government is safeguarding the public from unsafe and illegal hunting practices.

Mark Upton from McDougall pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm. He received $6,500 in fines and a one-year hunting licence suspension. He will also have to successfully complete the Ontario hunter education course before being able to purchase another hunting licence.

The court heard that on October 17, 2021, conservation officers were conducting a moose decoy operation on the Dog River Road northwest of the city of Thunder Bay. This planned operation was in response to historical unsafe hunting practices in the same area. The moose decoy was on a commonly used forestry road; conservation officers controlled traffic in the vicinity of the operation. Upton shot at the moose decoy with a high-powered rifle, down the road, while standing on the road.

Justice of the Peace Jerry Woods heard the case remotely in the Ontario Court of Justice, Thunder Bay, on April 6, 2022.

Conservation officers remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy. To report a natural resource problem or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit