Minnesota Man Guilty of Illegal Bear Guiding in Ontario

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A Red Lake District tourist lodge operator's illegal bear guiding practices has resulted in a two-year ban on operating a bear management area and a $14,000 fine.

Jody Stevens of Sargeant, Minnesota, was convicted of 11 counts under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of providing bear hunting services without a licence in 2007 and 2008. He was fined $7,000 for each year, his bear management agreement licence has been revoked and he cannot participate in any aspect of operating a bear management area for two years.

Court heard that during the 2007 and 2008 bear hunting seasons, Stevens served as a black bear hunting guide for U.S. hunters staying at accommodations on Long Legged Lake, approximately 55 kilometres south of Red Lake. Stevens recorded false information on a number of different mandatory forms, citing that bears had been harvested in an area where he was licensed to provide bear guiding services. In fact, Stevens was illegally working in an area which was closer to his lodge than his licensed area.

Justice of the Peace Marj Pasloski heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Red Lake, on July 8, 2009.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free anytime or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).