November 16,  2010

Four southern Ontario men have been convicted of charges related to illegal moose hunting.

Anton Gerritsen Jr. and Anton Gerritsen Sr., both of Cayuga, Shank A. Vanderheide of Canfield and James E. Kruis of St. George, were each fined $1,000 for obstructing a Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officer and Gerritsen Jr., Gerritsen Sr. and Vanderheide were each fined $500 for illegally possessing a cow moose. Gerritsen Jr. was also fined $250 for illegally possessing a calf moose, $1,500 for hunting cow moose without a licence and $500 for failing to immediately attach a game seal to a harvested animal. Gerritsen Sr. was fined $500 for using a hunting licence that was issued to someone else.

Gerritsen Jr. was convicted on two counts and Gerritsen Sr. on one count of discharging a firearm across a roadway, and fined $1,000 and $500 respectively. Both men are prohibited from hunting in Ontario for one year. Kruis was fined $1,500 for unlawfully transferring his moose game seal and is prohibited from hunting big game in Ontario for two years. 

The court heard that during the fall of 2009, a conservation officer investigating tire tracks and a blood trail north of Terrace Bay was led to the campsite of Gerritsen Jr., Gerritsen Sr. and Vanderheide, where a moose cow and calf were hanging. Through investigation, the officer determined that animals had been shot and killed on Goldfield Road by members of the hunting party. Kruise did not attend the hunt, but gave his game seal to the hunting party, which was attached to the harvested cow. The men told the officer that Kruise had been part of the party, when in fact he had never attended the hunt. Both DNA and ballistic evidence were used in the investigation. The moose were seized and forfeited to the Crown.

The case was heard by Justice of the Peace John Guthrie in the Ontario Court of Justice, Thunder Bay on November 9, 2010, and Justice of the Peace Paul Macphail in the Ontario Court of Justice, Brantford, on September 29, 2010. 

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