The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will be stepping up enforcement efforts with a focus on safety in northeastern Ontario this fall. In particular, during the regular gun calf season for moose from October 22 to November 4, conservation officers will be checking hunters to ensure compliance with hunter orange requirements and safe use of firearms. Fines range from $100 to $250 for offences involving these matters. In more serious cases, offenders could face fines of up to $25,000, or imprisonment, or both.
To ensure a safe and lawful hunt, hunters are reminded that:
- All persons in possession of a firearm for the purpose of hunting must not handle or discharge it or cause it to be handled or discharged without due care and attention for persons and property. Firearms include air guns, bows and crossbows, as well as traditional rifles and shotguns.
- Any hunting injury caused by the discharge of a firearm resulting in medical treatment by a physician must be reported to a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry conservation officer.
- If you are in an area inhabited by wildlife, or on the way to or from an area inhabited by wildlife, you cannot have a loaded firearm in a vehicle, motorboat or aircraft or discharge a firearm from any of these modes of transportation. There are exceptions for mobility-impaired persons and for persons hunting waterfowl.
- It is illegal to shoot from, down or across a public road.
- During the period from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, it is illegal have an unencased or loaded firearm in an area usually inhabited by wildlife. Hunters with a licence to hunt raccoons at night must have their firearms encased while in a vehicle. Consult the 2016-2017 Hunting Regulations Summary for definitions of “loaded” for traditional firearms and for bows, crossbows and muzzleloaders.
- All hunters must wear solid hunter orange clothing (minimum of 400 square inches or 2,580 square centimetres above the waist) and a hunter orange head cover, except during a “bows-only” season. Mesh-type construction vests are not acceptable.
- A hunter cannot possess a game seal issued to another person. Ontario has a new Moose Tag Transfer Policy. Please consult the 2016-2017 Hunting Regulations Summary for more information.
- Hunters must make sure they are targeting a moose for which they are licensed. They need to be able to distinguish between a bull, cow and calf moose.
- After a moose is killed, the game seal holder must immediately attach the game seal to the moose in the manner prescribed on the seal, and it must remain attached during transportation.
- Hunters must disassemble and remove any temporary structures erected on Crown land for hunting moose.
Conservation officers may also enforce Small Vessel Regulations and sections of the Liquor Licence Act.
For information on hunting regulations and moose seasons, please consult the 2016-2017 Hunting Regulations Summary, available from licence issuers, Service Ontario/Government Information Centres and at ontario.ca/hunting.
To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
For additional information, please contact Richard Lepage at 705-864-3140.