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Hunter nabbed by deer decoys

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A Nolalu-area man has been fined $6,500 for hunting offences under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

Steven Piilo pleaded guilty and was fined $3,500 for careless hunting, $1,500 for shooting from a vehicle, and $1,500 for hunting a white-tailed deer without a licence.

He also received a five-year hunting suspension and must successfully complete the Ontario Hunter Education Course before being able to purchase another hunting licence.

Court heard that on Nov. 5, conservation officers from the ministry's Thunder Bay enforcement unit conducted a deer decoy operation on private property in O'Connor Township, west of Thunder Bay.

The decoys were set up to target unsafe hunting practices and address public complaints about trespassing in that area.

Upon observing the decoys, the vehicle Piilo was travelling in stopped. Piilo climbed from the front passenger seat into the back seat, where he fired five shots out of the driver's side window at the decoys.

Upon further investigation, officers determined Piilo had hunted a white-tailed deer earlier that day without a licence.

Piilo previously had been convicted of a safety-related hunting offence.

Justice of the Peace Bernard Caron heard the case April 4 in Thunder Bay, on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

The ministry reminds the public that it is illegal and unsafe to shoot from, down, or across a public road when hunting and to discharge a firearm from a vehicle.

To report a natural resources violation, call toll-free 1-877-847-7667 any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours.

You also can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

As well, visit Ontario.ca/mnrftips to view an interactive, searchable map of unsolved cases.

You may be able to provide information that will help solve a case.

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