A Minnesota resident has been fined a total of $4,250 for unsafe hunting.

Keith Ketcher of Osage pleaded guilty and was fined $3,500 for firing a high-powered rifle at a moose decoy while both he and the decoy were on a road and $750 for having a loaded firearm in a vehicle. He also received a one-year hunting suspension and will be required to take the Ontario Hunter Education Course before he can purchase another hunting licence in Ontario.

Court heard that on October 22, 2016, conservation officers set up a moose decoy on Ela Road near Ignace, in response to reports of road hunting activity in that area. Ketcher was travelling in a vehicle when he saw the moose decoy on the road. He exited the vehicle and fired three shots at the decoy while standing on the road. The shots Ketcher fired at the moose decoy passed a stationary vehicle in front of him that was occupied by other members of his hunting group. After firing the shots, Ketcher placed the rifle back into the vehicle with a live round in the chamber.

Justice of the Peace Danalyn MacKinnon heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Ignace, on March 7, 2017.

The ministry reminds the public that it is illegal and unsafe to shoot from, down or across a public road when hunting.

For further information on hunting regulations, please consult the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary available at ontario.ca/hunting.

To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Robin Thompson, Dryden Enforcement Unit, 807-934-2205

Dan Hale, Dryden Enforcement Unit, 807-223-7551

ontario.ca/mnrf

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