The Ontario government is taking steps to protect deer populations by cracking down on illegal hunting practices. Ernie Coulas of Combermere was fined $6,000 after pleading guilty to possessing counterfeit deer tags and hunting without a license. On November 14, 2022, a conservation officer discovered Coulas at a hunt camp in Bangor Township, Hastings County. Initially claiming to be wolf hunting, Coulas was found to have a 2022 deer tag he couldn’t produce for inspection. Further investigation revealed that Coulas had used his original deer tag earlier in the season and was also in possession of two counterfeit tags. The case was heard by Justice of the Peace Roger King in the Ontario Court of Justice, Belleville, on August 28, 2023. The public is encouraged to report natural resource issues through the ministry’s TIPS line or Crime Stoppers.

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