Belleville court fines hunter $6,000 for possessing counterfeit deer tags, hunting without licence

Photo supplied by Ontario MNR

A Belleville court has fined a man thousands of dollars after he pleaded guilty to improper hunting practices.

The Ontario government has a mandate to safeguard deer populations by ensuring hunters don’t possess counterfeit tags or hunt without a licence.

Ernie Coulas of Combermere pleaded guilty to possessing copied (counterfeit) deer tags and hunting deer without a licence and received a total of $6,000 in fines.

The court heard that on Nov. 14, 2022, a conservation officer was conducting a vehicle patrol in Bangor Township, Hastings County and contacted Coulas at a hunt camp, where he claimed to be wolf hunting.

The officer conducted a hunting inspection and determined Coulas was in possession of a 2022 deer tag which wasn’t produced for inspection. Through further investigation, the officer determined Coulas had already used his deer tag earlier in the season; that tag was recovered from a butcher shop. Coulas was also found to be in possession of two copies of a deer tag – one he had made the morning before going hunting and had with him, and the other he stored at his residence.

In addition to the tag violations, Coulas was also found to be deer hunting without a licence.

Justice of the Peace Roger King heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Belleville, on August 28, 2023.

To report a natural resource problem or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit ontario.ca/mnrftips.

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