Hunting Violations Result in Convictions for Six

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MNR

Six individuals and a corporation pleaded guilty to charges involving illegal and unsafe moose hunting.

Brett Geary of Red Lake, pleaded guilty to two counts of discharging a firearm from a boat. He received $10,000 in fines and a four-year hunting licence suspension.

Geary’s Sportsman’s Lodge on Little Vermilion Lake, north of Red Lake, pleaded guilty to two counts of discharging a firearm from a boat and received $24,000 in fines.

Anthony Schmitt of Saint Cloud, Minnesota pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm from a boat, hunting big game with no licence and possessing illegally killed wildlife. He received $8,500 in fines and a seven-year hunting licence suspension.

Gary Anderson of Saint Cloud, Minnesota pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm from a boat and possessing illegally killed wildlife. He received $3,500 in fines and a three-year hunting suspension.

Paul Kruchten of Clearwater, Minnesota pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm from a boat and possessing illegally killed wildlife. He received $2,000 in fines and a two-year hunting suspension.

Robert Hommerding of Saint Cloud, Minnesota pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm from a boat. He was fined $1,000 and a two-year hunting suspension.

Ryan Scott of Red Lake, pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm from a boat. He was fined $1,200.

In addition to the individual fines, $12,550 in victim surcharge fines were levied against the six convicted individuals and the corporation.

Evidence was gathered over a 21-month period as part of a joint investigation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

The Court heard that in October of 2019 a conservation officer stopped Schmitt and Hommerding travelling south of Red Lake on Hwy 105 with a cow moose.

It was determined that they were hunting with Geary’s Sportsman’s Lodge. The moose was shot from a boat and in the wrong wildlife management unit. A subsequent investigation into the 2017 to 2019 hunting activity at Geary’s Sportsman’s Lodge was initiated.

United States Fish and Wildlife Service agents in conjunction with Ontario conservation officers determined that between 2017 and 2019 numerous moose were shot at from boats while hunters were being guided.

All six individuals and the corporation’s guilty pleas were heard by various Justices of the Peace over a 21-month period in the Ontario Court of Justice in Red Lake.

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.

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