CONSERVATION OFFICERS INVESTIGATE ILLEGAL NIGHT HUNTING IN SOUTHWESTERN MANITOBA
Manitoba Sustainable Development is providing an update on two recent investigations into illegal night hunting in southwestern Manitoba.
Social media posts about big game animals killed in western Manitoba this fall prompted conservation officers to conduct patrols in the region.
On Friday, Dec. 9, a ground patrol was organized after discovering the remains of two illegally killed elk south of Shilo. Conservation officers from several detachments in southwestern Manitoba took part.
At approximately 11:15 p.m., a vehicle was observed approaching the area. Soon after, a spotlight was observed shining from the suspect vehicle in a way consistent with night lighting for big game. The suspects were on a dead-end road and officers positioned themselves to make a stop.
Three male suspects were apprehended without incident. A 2002 Ford F-150, three rifles, a spotlight and other hunting gear were seized. The investigation by Manitoba Sustainable Development continues and charges are expected to be laid at a later date.
On Sunday, Dec. 11, a night patrol, including conservation officers from all detachments in southwestern Manitoba, a K-9 unit, a municipal police officer and spotters in an aircraft, was organized.
In the early-morning hours of Monday, Dec. 12, officers in the aircraft observed a suspect vehicle northwest of Glenboro with a spotlight being used. Ground patrol units were subsequently directed to the area.
Officers signalled the suspect vehicle to stop using their emergency lights, but the driver continued, drove around the patrol vehicle and fled.
The spotters in the aircraft kept the vehicle under surveillance while seven ground units repositioned. While trying to escape, the suspect vehicle lost control around a curve in the road and went into the snow-packed ditch.
Four male suspects were arrested on the scene without incident. A 1995 GMC truck, two rifles, a spotlight, one freshly killed deer, other hunting gear and a set of illegal brass knuckles were seized.
Officers remain on the scene this morning collecting evidence. The investigation continues and charges are expected to be laid at a later date.
Conservation officers are commended for safely conducting this hazardous work in the extreme cold conditions.
To report illegal hunting or a natural resources violation, call the Turn In Poachers (TIPS) line toll-free at 1-800-782-0076 any time or contact the local Manitoba Sustainable Development office during regular business hours. Callers do not need to give their name and their identity will be protected at all times.