MWF is pleased to see conservation officers are continuing enforcement against illegal night hunting in moose closure areas. The recent success suppressing illegal hunting activities has been achieved through cooperation, advanced communication and the tireless workmanship between the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development, our Enforcement Officers and our MWF members who have reported incidents to TIPS. This impressive teamwork has resulted in two more major wildlife convictions against poachers in Manitoba.
On Dec. 20, 2020, conservation officers in the Ashville area heard rifle shots and encountered a truck exiting a field with three occupants. Officers stopped the vehicle and a female passenger indicated they were hunting and that she had shot at some elk in the field. Officers located two dead bull elk in the field. Through an investigation, it was discovered the occupants of the truck did not have permission to hunt on the property. The female, from Grandview, was charged for hunting on private land without permission, fail to notch the game tag immediately after killing the elk, and killing a greater number of species than permitted. Her fines totaled $2,268 and restitution of $7,500 was applied.
On Jan. 8, conservation officers received a call at the Pine Falls office from a member of the public to report a possible incident of moose poaching in GHA 26. While attending the location indicated by the caller, officers spotted a truck in the area with a tarp covering the contents of the truck box. Officers stopped the vehicle and noted a moose was located under the tarp. Through an investigation, it was determined the moose had been shot inside the closure area and then dragged out of the area with the truck and gutted on a roadway. All three occupants of the vehicle are from Fort Alexander and were charged under the Moose Conservation Closure Regulation and for possessing illegally taken wildlife. The moose was donated to elders in a nearby First Nation. Restitution notices were serviced totaling $6,000 for the illegally harvested moose.
MWF has since learned that the illegally harvested moose taken in GHA 26 was a pregnant cow moose. We were provided a photograph of the dead fetus by an MWF member which we have posted on our website. We caution all readers that this photo is graphic and heart wrenching, but it drives home the importance of practicing responsible and conservational harvesting. This graph depicts how if a cow moose is harvested, it will result in removing all future offspring from the population.