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This article was published 10/2/2018 (1607 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
An evening of night hunting has resulted in thousands of dollars in fines and the seizure of hunting-related equipment and a vehicle from the four men found guilty.
The night hunting incident took place in the Carberry area during the early morning hours of Dec. 12, 2016, when conservation officers acted on numerous complaints of night hunting.
In response, 14 conservation officers and the chief constable of the RM of Cornwallis Police Service conducted an aircraft-assisted night patrol, according to a release from the province.
A vehicle on a municipal road near Glenboro was seen from the air, and was followed.
This vehicle was seen shining a spotlight several times to light up a privately owned field in an area that was reportedly "very near to private homes."
Officers on the ground moved in and tried to stop the vehicle.
The driver refused to comply, lost control and got stuck in the ditch following a short pursuit, after which four men were arrested at the scene.
Carberry Mayor Stuart Olmstead said that night hunting, also known as spotlighting, has been an ongoing problem in the area.
"I think everybody has heard a story in regards to night hunting, or knows somebody who has had something shot on their land, and it’s always a safety issue, regardless of any other issues," he said.
"It’s just dangerous and stupid."
Commending conservation officers with making these four arrests, Olmstead said that he’d like to see a greater provincial investment in these officers, since they have a "very large area to police and there are very few of them."
Joshua Roulette, 25, Joseph Spence, 31, and Baron Kakewash, 44, of Portage la Prairie, and Mitchel Mousseau, 34, of Sandy Bay, pleaded guilty to "hunting vertebrate animals at night with lights," receiving fines totalling $4,000.
A 1995 Chevrolet Silverado truck, a rifle and various other hunting-related equipment was also seized and forfeited to the Crown.
Last year, there were 48 people charged with night hunting, including 20 in western Manitoba, nine in central Manitoba, 15 in eastern Manitoba and four in the province’s northeast.
The provincial government is encouraging anyone who witnesses or suspects night hunting, or any other illegal activities related to hunting, to call the Turn in Poachers line at 1-800-782-0076.
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