Hunters beware as the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) Northeast Region will be conducting heightened enforcement activity this fall.
From Oct. 8 to 22, the regular gun season for moose, conservation officers will be checking hunters regarding hunter orange requirements and safe use of firearms. Fines range from $100 to $250 for infractions and in more serious cases, offenders could face fines of up to $25,000 or imprisonment or both.
To ensure a safe and lawful hunt, the MNR is reminding hunters of the following:
All hunters must wear solid hunter orange clothing, minimum of 400 square inches and a hunter orange cap, except during a "bows-only" season. Mesh type construction vests are not acceptable.
All persons in possession of a firearm for the purpose of hunting shall not handle or discharge it or cause it to be handled or discharged without due care for persons or property.
Any hunting injury caused by the discharge of a firearm resulting in medical treatment by a physician must be reported to a 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. It is illegal to discharge a firearm from any of these modes of transportation.
You cannot shoot from, down or across a public road.
You may not have in your possession, in an area usually inhabited by wildlife a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset, a firearm unless it is unloaded and in its case.
Under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, a firearm includes air guns, bows and crossbows, along with traditional rifles and shotguns. A firearm is considered loaded if there is a cartridge in the chamber or a magazine that is attached to the firearm. Bows, crossbows, and muzzle loaders have various definitions of what is loaded.
For more information on hunting regulations, consult the 2005-2006 Hunting Regulations Summary, available from district ministry offices, or on the ministry's website, www.mnr.gov.on.ca.
Call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time to report a natural resources violation or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).