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A single hunting lodge racks up 68 charges and $72,500 in fines

Tuesday, January 14, 2014   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES

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Eleven people have pleaded guilty to a total of 68 charges and been fined $72,500 for offences that took place at a hunting and fishing lodge in northwest Ontario.

Steve Herbeck, former owner and operator of 1216818 Ontario Inc., carrying on business as Andy Myers Lodge, on Eagle Lake, west of Dryden, was fined a total of $7,500 and his business was fined a total of $27,000 for 22 offences.

He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for ten years.

Danny Herbeck and Chris Federman, both lodge employees, were fined $7,000 each for their offences and cannot hunt for the next four and eight years respectively.

At the time of the offences, all three men lived in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

Andy Bouchard of Waldhof, Ontario, pleaded guilty to three hunting offences and was fined $4,000.

He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year.

Scott Munford of Vermilion Bay, Ontario, pleaded guilty to six charges under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and was fined $7,000.

He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for two years.

Calum Ritchie of Waldhof, Ontario, pleaded guilty to two charges and was fined $2,000.

He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year.

Tammy Pelletier of Waldhof, Ontario, pleaded guilty to two charges and was fined $2,500.

She is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year.

Bouchard, Munford, Ritchie and Pelletier were all lodge employees at the time of the offences.

George Lindsay of Wedderburn Ranfurly, New Zealand pleaded guilty to three hunting offences and was fined $3,000.

He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year.

Travis Runde of Mineral Point, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty and was fined $1,000 for two firearm offences.

He cannot hunt in Ontario for one year.

Don Rabideau Jr. of Morrisonville, New York, pleaded guilty to four hunting offences and was fined $3,000.

He is not allowed to hunt in Ontario for one year.

Lindsay, Runde, and Rabideau Jr. were all lodge guests.

Ron Jaeger of Eagle River, Ontario, pleaded guilty to one offence and was fined $500.

The 11 people listed above pleaded guilty to a total of 68 charges under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, Ontario Fishery Regulations and Migratory Birds Convention Act.

Their offences included:

  • unlawfully hunting wolf
  • unlawfully using a hunting licence belonging to another person
  • making a false statement in a document
  • making a false statement to a conservation officer
  • having a loaded firearm in a vehicle
  • possessing uncased firearms at night
  • discharging a firearm from a roadway
  • unlawfully selling game wildlife
  • unlawfully selling migratory birds
  • fishing with more than one fishing line
  • failing to comply with the requirements for an Ontario Hunting and Fishing Licence Issuer, and
  • possessing an over-limit of Canada geese.

The court heard that Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers conducted a two-year covert investigation in cooperation with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service,the departments of Natural Resources for Wisconsin, Michigan, New York and Minnesota, and the New Zealand Commission of Wildlife.

Conservation officers discovered that Steve Herbeck and his staff encouraged clients to hunt wolves without a licence.

Staff then used their own resident licences to validate the wolf or arranged for guests to buy licences afterward.

Steve Herbeck allowed guests to fish without a licence and later sold them backdated fishing licences.

As part of their package, guests were fed grouse and mallard duck and advised they were fed American elk, all of which the lodge was not allowed to sell.

Steve Herbeck also took guests muskellunge fishing and used more than the allowable amount of fishing rods.

Justices of the Peace Daisy Hoppe and Edith Baas heard the cases between January 15 and December 17, 2013, in the Ontario Court of Justice, Dryden.

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

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

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Comments
18
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
bounder 1/14/2014 3:58:30 PM Report

That's just one lodge, how many more do the same. I don't believe in making a living off wildlife.
Beej 1/14/2014 4:10:12 PM Report

The owner should have got a $100K fine as well as a lifetime hunting and fishing ban and not ever allowed to run another tourist business in Canada.
They conveniently never mention the costs of these long investigations.
I wonder why?
Flyers08 1/14/2014 4:10:33 PM Report

Keep them in their own country ffs!
thomas 1/14/2014 4:52:27 PM Report

Hey, at least they got caught and the judge threw the book at them.
(unlike some of the offences here in the Sault area)

With those kind of offences, they shouldn't even be allowed back INTO Canada, and at the least, none of them should ever be allowed to hunt in Canada again.
Lleoy 1/14/2014 5:22:30 PM Report

Beej, you are 100% correct, and they should be banned from ever entering Canada again.
pastoutla 1/14/2014 6:05:19 PM Report

This sort of illegal activity has been the norm for many years. eg.Megasin Lake&George Nixon.It will only get worse with M.N.R appointees buying into these (tourist lodges)and privatizing our land for their personal $$$ GAIN.
Gater 1/14/2014 6:19:43 PM Report

These fines don't come close to covering the costs of the investigation.
And should be banned from hunting and fishing in Canada for life.
mr.jack 1/14/2014 6:23:11 PM Report

ok yes this is news, but why is this news for the soo. i never understood why were reporting news from Dryden or other places
pastoutla 1/14/2014 6:38:43 PM Report

Sorry I missed the point??? Apparently the lodge owner did not pay off or sell out to appropriate people.(wink=wink)
frauleinbroomhilda 1/14/2014 9:23:16 PM Report

Send all the names to Canadian Customs and the U.S. Customs and if we're lucky some of these greedy hunters won't be able to enter Canada or the U.S.. Losers!!!!
Big Deal 1/14/2014 9:45:27 PM Report

If a Canadian did this in the United States....they would NEVER EVER be allowed back into the United States in their life time, period!!!
maltese 1/14/2014 11:32:39 PM Report

Thank you Me Myself & I.....for standing up to timbob. Sounds like he is a nice law-abiding citizen - not. There are laws for a reason. These people broke those laws and are paying the price. Good.
rebel469 1/14/2014 11:42:48 PM Report

As a lodge owner myself, these charges are not nearly enough. The laws need to be changed so stricter penalties can be handed down.
Vindicator 1/15/2014 7:50:13 AM Report

Timbob, it's obvious you have limited intelligence from your statements.

As others have already pointed out, the costs of the two year investigation come nowhere near being covered by the fines levied by the courts and don't come close to deterring others from breaking the laws.

Everyone of those people should have been hit with massive fines, lost their right to hunt for life, had vehicles and weapons seized and non-residence banned for life from entering Canada.


Since you are an expert on wolf populations perhaps you can enlighten the rest of us on how the culling of moose, deer and other game is negatively impacted by the wolves when it is their natural domain and they are doing what Mother Nature intended them to do....weed out the weak from the herds; the strong survive.

You rant and rave about Conservation Offices being anal apertures, I would suggest that is a description better applied to you.
S.M.A.R.T. 1/15/2014 2:29:51 PM Report

I am no expert in the field of Tourist Outfitters as Lawbreakers, but I would certainly stop short of putting them all in the same category as the outfitter in this article.

Of course, the Hunting and Fishing laws in this province are so convoluted and restrictive that unknowingly breaking them is pretty well inevitable. This is why I've quit fishing and never really did hunt. MNR conservation authority has pretty well become a synonym for GESTAPO. Sadly for the decent MNR conservation officials, the idiots among them put them in an unwarranted negative light.

Finally, the people cited in this article as lawbreakers I would opine, probably do deserve more severe penalties along the lines of some suggested in the foregoing comments.
Timbob 1/15/2014 7:07:36 PM Report

@Vindicator

I may have limited intelligence, but you have zero intelligence.

To ban most of the individuals in this case from hunting FOR LIFE for these charges is insane. I suppose you would also give them the death sentence if they broke into your car at night.

The cost of the investigation has no bearing what-so-ever on the fines handed down to the accused. It is irrelevant. That is just stupid logic. What if the prosecutors and conservation officers are incompetent and drag out the case for years and years, then claim that the costs of the investigation were tens of millions of dollars? Why would you think the accused would be responsible for any of the government's incompetence?

SOO TODAY: Nice of you to delete an opinion that didn't toe the line 100%. I may have referred to the conservation officers as @@#$@@ - which I still believe is true - but you could have removed a couple of words instead of completely curtailing all free speech that doesn't agree with your liberal, Greenpeace, fairy tale world.
Too much! 1/16/2014 1:06:01 AM Report

@ Timbob: sorry for the late response, just catching up on the week, but I was just wondering what you were talking about when you cited the example "Megasin Lake and George Nixon". I did a search but I couldn't find anything. (Btw, tough crowd eh? Geesh !!)
Vindicator 1/16/2014 8:28:51 AM Report

@Timbob, sorry for giving you credit for having some intelligence, I was mistaken.

What you fail to understand is if the penalties for breaking the law are substantial enough they will discourage others from following the same path. I will say that if I caught someone breaking into my vehicle, they will never break into another one. Repeat offenders should be sentenced to hard labour and put on chain gangs.

Judging by your response, I would hazard a guess you have lots of experience in dealings with the legal system.

In a perfect World there would be no need for the MNR's Conservation Officers and since this is less than a perfect World taxpayers must fund such bodies.

Why should honest taxpayers shoulder the burden of paying for lawbreakers. You break the rules, you pay the consequences. In this particular case, the hunting lodge should have been seized and sold to pay the costs.

You can bet that this is not the first time anyone involved with this case broke the law. How many times did they break it before they were caught? You play, you pay.
Comments
18
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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