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2014-01-13 at 15:36

Courts hand down $72,000 in fines following MNR investigation

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By tbnewswatch.com

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources has issued more than $70,000 in fines to 11 people for offences that took place at a Northwestern Ontario hunting and fishing lodge.

In a news release issued by the province Monday afternoon, officials with the MNR confirmed that Steve Herbeck, former owner and operator of Andy Myers Lodge on Eagle Lake, was fined $7,500 and his business $27,000 for 22 offences. 

In addition to the fines, the former operator of the Lodge, located west of Dryden, is banned from hunting in Ontario for 10 years.

The court heard that a conservation officers conducted a two-year covert investigation in co-operation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the departments of Natural Resources for Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Minnesota, and the New Zealand Commission of Wildlife. 

The conservation officers discovered that Steve Herbeck and his staff encouraged clients to hunt wolves without a licence. Staff then used their own resident licences to validate the wolf or arranged for guests to buy licences afterward.

Guests were allowed to fish without a licence and were later sold backdated fishing licences. 

As part of their package, guests were fed grouse and mallard duck and advised they were fed
American elk, all of which the lodge was not allowed to sell.

Guests were also taken muskellunge fishing and used more than the allowable amount of fishing rods.

Others charged include:

  • Danny Herbeck, Chris Federman, both lodge employees, were fined $7,000 each for their offences and cannot hunt for the next four and eight years respectively. 
  • Andy Bouchard of Waldhof, Ont., pleaded guilty to three hunting offences and was fined $4,000. He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year. 
  • Scott Munford of Vermilion Bay, Ont., pleaded guilty to six charges under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and was fined $7,000. He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for two years.
  • Calum Ritchie of Waldhof, Ont., pleaded guilty to two charges and was fined $2,000. He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year.
  • Tammy Pelletier of Waldhof, Ont., pleaded guilty to two charges and was fined $2,500. She is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year. 
  • George Lindsay of Wedderburn Ranfurly, New Zealand, pleaded guilty to three hunting offences and was fined $3,000. He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year. 
  • Travis Runde of Mineral Point, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty and was fined $1,000 for two firearm  offences. He cannot hunt in Ontario for one year.
  • Don Rabideau Jr. of Morrisonville, New York, pleaded guilty to four hunting offences and was fined $3,000. He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year.
  • Ron Jaeger of Eagle River, Ont., pleaded guilty to one offence and was fined $500.

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