Released on September 4, 2018
A multi-year investigation by Ministry of Environment conservation officers and undercover officers has resulted in two Melfort residents fined $15,705 for an illegal outfitting operation.
Melfort conservation officers initiated an investigation after receiving numerous public complaints regarding illegal outfitting for migratory bird hunts in the area.
In September 2017, undercover officers booked hunts with the two individuals and paid for their outfitting and guiding services, including arranging for hunting locations and supplying hunting equipment.
During the hunt, one of the accused said he was okay with the undercover officer shooting his, and his assistant’s, limit of birds, even though they were not present on the day of the hunt.
On September 15, 2017, officers conducted a search at a rural property and seized a large amount of waterfowl hunting equipment, including two firearms. During the search, 29 filleted walleye were also discovered, putting them over the legal possession limit of eight.
A guilty plea was entered in Melfort Provincial Court on August 16. Garnet Roy Gunderson, age 72, and Barbara Ann Lynne Gunderson, age 68, of Melfort, were fined $9,800 under The Outfitter and Guide Regulations
, $3,875 under The Wildlife Act
, and $2,030 under The Fisheries Act
. Both individuals also received two-year angling suspensions and a two-year firearm prohibition. Mr. Gunderson also received a one-year hunting suspension.
Approximately $20,000 worth of hunting equipment seized during the investigation was also forfeited to the Crown.
Once again, reports from the public were crucial to accountability for illegal wildlife and fisheries activities.
If you suspect wildlife, fisheries, forestry or environmental violations, please call your local Ministry of Environment office, Saskatchewan’s toll-free Turn In Poachers line at 1-800-667-7561, call #5555 for SaskTel cellular subscribers, or report a violation online at www.saskatchewan.ca/tip. You may be eligible for cash rewards from the SaskTip Reward Program.
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