The Ontario government is safeguarding moose populations from unlawful harvest and unsafe harvesting practices.

James Bay enforcement unit conservation officers have fined three people a total of $27,300 for hunting moose without licences, tagging violations and for discharging firearms from a motorboat. The three hunters have received a combined 26 years in hunting licence suspensions.

Robert Lepage of Kapuskasing pleaded guilty to unlawfully discharging a firearm from a motorboat, possessing wildlife that was unlawfully killed, failing to immediately invalidate his moose tag and hunting moose without a licence. In addition to the hunting related offences, Lepage was convicted for not having enough lifejackets onboard his pontoon boat. He was fined a total of $15,600 and is prohibited from possessing, applying for, or obtaining a licence to hunt all game species for one year and is prohibited from hunting moose for an additional seven years.

Steven Lambert of Val Rita pleaded guilty to unlawfully discharging a firearm from a motorboat, possessing wildlife that was unlawfully killed, hunting moose without a licence and failing to carry required documentation while hunting. He was fined a total of $9,700 and is prohibited from possessing, applying for, or obtaining a licence to hunt all game species for two years and is prohibited from hunting moose for an additional seven years.

Angele Tremblay of Val Rita pleaded guilty to possessing wildlife that was unlawfully killed, hunting moose without a licence and unlawfully discharging a firearm from a motorboat. She was fined a total of $2,000. In addition, she is prohibited from possessing, applying for, or obtaining a licence to hunt all game species for two years and is prohibited from hunting moose for an additional seven years.

The court heard that on October 14, 2023, Lepage, Lambert and Tremblay were hunting moose on the Mattagami River. Lepage shot and killed a calf moose from the motorboat. He did not invalidate his calf moose tag, which is required by law to be done at the time and location that the animal was killed. Lambert and Tremblay actively participated in the hunt with Lepage and did not possess valid moose licences. The three transported the calf moose to Tremblay’s residence where it was processed.

The court further heard that on October 21, 2023, Lepage, Lambert and Tremblay were again hunting moose on the Mattagami River. Lepage and Lambert shot and killed a second calf moose from the motorboat, while Tremblay steered the boat. Lepage did not invalidate his calf moose tag and did not possess it on his person. Lepage, Lambert and Tremblay did not possess their hunting licences on their person, and Lambert and Tremblay continued to hunt moose without valid licences. The three individuals were contacted by Cochrane conservation officers on the Mattagami River while transporting the illegally killed calf moose. Both moose calves were seized as part of the investigation.

Justice of the Peace Jean-Marie Blier heard the case remotely in the Ontario Court of Justice, Cochrane, on March 5, 2024.

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 ontario.ca/mnrftips.