Three people were fined a total of $9,500 for hunting big game without licences and for tagging violations.

Steven (Qing) Mou of Ajax pleaded guilty to hunting big game without a licence, failing to invalidate a tag immediately after killing a deer and failing to keep an invalidated tag or attach a tag to an animal after killing a deer. He was fined $3,500 and received a one-year hunting licence suspension.

Rachael Wentworth of Burlington pleaded guilty to hunting big game without a licence and abandoning a deer, allowing the meat to spoil. She was fined $4,000, received a one-year hunting licence suspension and the meat seized as part of the investigation was forfeited to the Crown.

Christopher Fraser of Burlington pleaded guilty to hunting big game without a licence and abandoning a deer, allowing the meat to spoil. He was fined $2,000 and received a one-year hunting licence suspension.

The court heard that between November 1 and 14, 2021 Mou, Wentworth and Fraser were all guest hunters, hunting white-tailed deer on a property in Eldorado. During this time, Mou shot and killed a doe white-tailed deer. He did not immediately invalidate his deer tag at the time and location of the kill as required by law. He also did not keep on his person or attach an invalidated tag to the deer when he was not present with the deer. Mou continued to hunt deer without a valid licence.

The court also heard that Wentworth and Fraser were hunting white-tailed deer in the same ground blind. Wentworth possessed a deer licence and deer tag valid for antlered deer only. Fraser did not possess a valid deer hunting licence. Wentworth shot a deer, not knowing whether it had antlers or not. She determined after shooting the deer it was not an antlered deer. Fraser actively participated in the hunt with Wentworth by lying in wait for the deer and assisting her in identifying the deer. Wentworth then shot the deer based on Fraser’s identification and guidance. Despite the conservation officer finding the deer a short distance from where it was shot, the defendants did not conduct a reasonable nor sufficient search.

Justice of the Peace Leona Dombrowsky heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville on October 30, 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.