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

John Hayberg of Sioux Narrows pleaded guilty to careless use of a firearm and trespassing for the purpose of hunting. He was fined $8,000. He is also prohibited from possessing firearms or hunting equipment in an area where game is found. Hayberg had his hunting licence suspended for two years and will be required to complete the Ontario Hunter Education Course before being able to purchase another hunting licence.

The court heard that on November 16, 2020, Hayberg drove onto Curtis Road, in a built-up residential area within Sioux Narrows township, where the discharge of firearms is prohibited. Upon observing a large white-tailed deer buck bedded on someone’s front lawn, he exited his vehicle and while standing on the shoulder of the road, discharged a high-powered rifle across the residence’s driveway and killed the deer. The road also curved behind the deer, putting anyone travelling on the road in danger. Hayberg then trespassed onto the property and retrieved the deer from the lawn before leaving the area. Through a follow-up investigation, conservation officers seized the buck and rifle used to shoot it.

Justice of the Peace Daphne Armstrong heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kenora on March 15, 2023.

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.