Gravenhurst man fined $2,000 for illegal turkey hunting

A Gravenhurst man has been fined $2,000 following an investigation by officials with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. (Supplied)

A Gravenhurst man has been fined $2,000 following an investigation by officials with the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

Paul Girard pleaded guilty to hunting turkey without a licence and was fined $2,000, the ministry said in a news release Friday.

Girard also pleaded guilty to an additional count of hunting turkey without a licence, two counts of transporting illegally obtained wildlife and two counts of using a firearm to hunt turkey that is not permitted by regulations.

He received a suspended sentence, and the firearm was seized and forfeited to the Crown.

The court heard that in May 2021, a conservation officer began the investigation after becoming aware that Girard allegedly harvested two wild turkeys in the Gravenhurst area without a licence.

"The investigation found that Girard shot two turkeys in May of 2020 on a friend’s property," the release said. "In addition to not having a licence for either bird, the investigation further revealed that Girard was using a shotgun not permitted by regulations."

Justice of the Peace William Turtle heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Bracebridge, on Aug. 11.

"The Ontario government would like to remind hunters that wild turkey hunting regulations such as firearms restrictions and the requirement for licences are in place to help sustain the wild turkey populations," the release said.

"Conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the current COVID-19 pandemic and would like to remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits, we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy."

To report a natural resource violation 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, click here.