MELFORT — Two Melfort residents have been fined almost $16,000, plus had around $20,000 worth of hunting equipment seized, for running an illegal outfitting operation.
After receiving complains regarding illegal outfitting for migratory bird hunts in the area, Melfort conservation officers initiated an investigation, said a release from the provincial environmental ministry.
In September 2017, undercover officers booked hunts with the two individuals and paid for their outfitting and guiding services, including arranging for hunting locations and supplying hunting equipment. During the hunt, one of the accused said he was okay with the undercover officer shooting his, and his assistant’s, limit of birds, even though they were not present on the day of the hunt.
On Sept.15, 2017, officers conducted a search at a rural property and seized a large amount of waterfowl hunting equipment, including two firearms. During the search, 29 filleted walleye were also discovered, putting them over the legal possession limit of eight.
Garnet Roy Gunderson, 72, and Barbara Ann Lynne Gunderson, 68, plead guilty in Melfort Provincial Court on Aug. 16. They were fined $9,800 under the outfitter and guide regulations, $3,875 under The Wildlife Act, and $2,030 under The Fisheries Act. Both individuals also received two-year angling suspensions and a two-year firearm prohibition. Garnet Gunderson also received a one-year hunting suspension.