Two Thunder Bay residents have been fined a total of $8,250 for hunting deer without a licence and careless hunting.
Joseph M. Doerflinger and Darragh M. Stezenko both pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm down, from or across a public road. Additionally, Doerflinger pleaded guilty to trespassing to hunt. Doerflinger was fined $6,000 and Stezenko was fined $2,250. Both were suspended from hunting in Ontario for two years, and both must complete the Ontario Hunter Education Course before being licensed to hunt in Ontario.
Court heard that November 7, 2015, conservation officers set up deer decoys, in broad daylight in a cutover area, on a parcel of private land on Mud Lake Road, in response to landowner concerns about hunters trespassing. Doerflinger and Stezenko drove a short distance past the deer decoys and then walked back to the decoys on the paved roadway. Doerflinger handed Stezenko his rifle and coached her in shooting one of the deer decoys. Stezenko fired a single shot across two lanes of a paved roadway onto the private property which had no trespassing signs. The investigation also revealed that she was not licensed to hunt in Ontario, nor had she ever taken the Ontario Hunter Education Course.
Justice of the Peace Bruce Leaman heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Thunder Bay, on March 2, 2016.
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).