Potential Poacher Charged After Firing at Moose Decoy from a Moving Boat

by Courtney Blackann

A hunter is in some trouble after shooting at a moose decoy from a moving boat – without a license. The Ministry of Northern Development, Natural Resources and Forestry of Ontario called the move “dangerous and illegal.”

Now, Jonathan Isabelle of Kapuskasing is facing fines for potentially poaching bull moose. He pleaded guilty in court and received a $4,000 fine in addition to a two-year hunting license suspension. It’s unclear why the man didn’t obtain the proper licenses, however, he learned a tough lesson in hunting. As did his buddies that were along with him.

In addition to Isabelle, fellow hunter, Marc Moreau is also facing charges. Though he didn’t shoot his firearm, it still had bullets in it and he had no license. For the crime, he will also have to pay fines. Moreau is ordered to pay $2,615 and cannot obtain a hunting license for one year. His fines are less because the hunter didn’t actually shoot his rifle. However, he was aiming at the decoy when the hunters were spotted.

Further, a third man, Martin Larochelle of Opasatika, pleaded guilty to having a loaded firearm in the boat and has to pay $615 in fines. His fines are significantly less than his fellow hunters. That’s because, according to conservation officers, he was not aiming at the decoy.

Conservation officers were conducting a decoy mission in early October using a fake moose to look for potential poachers. This happened at the Opasatika River north of the town Opasatika, west of Kapuskasing, according to Bay Today.

The three men were traveling by boat when the officers saw them. All of them were carrying “high-powered” rifles when the officers saw them.

Deer Poacher Caught With Decoy

Poachers always seem to be close by when hunting season begins. This means that law enforcement won’t be far behind. In another case, several Oregon hunters learned a harsh lesson after shooting at a deer decoy.

“On four occasions,” however, Oregon officials say that “hunters stopped their vehicle in the public roadway and discharged firearms at the decoys. The subjects were approximately 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 2 hours, and 3 hours outside of legal hunting hours.”

The agency went on to say:

“In each instance,” the precinct continues, “the subjects were cited criminally for Unlawful Take – Buck Deer and the firearms used were seized as evidence. Additional charges referred to the District Attorney’s Office include Hunting Prohibited Area – Public Road and Hunting with the Aid of Artificial Light.”

Even if you’re a first-time poacher or you’re unaware of the hunting regulations, there’s still a consequence.

Each of the hunters, in this case, received fines and suspension of licenses.

“While poaching may not seem comparable to certain person crimes, wildlife offenses in Oregon are Class A Misdemeanor Crimes… When committed with a culpable mental state,” the precinct continues.