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2 men given hunting suspensions and fines after DNA links them to wasted deer

A mule deer buck. (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press - image credit)
A mule deer buck. (Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press - image credit)

Two Manitoba men were handed 2-year hunting suspensions and fines totalling $13,980 in Swift Current provincial court after DNA testing connected them to a headless deer corpse.

Shaunavon conservation officers received a tip, including a vehicle description, about Manitoba residents unlawfully hunting south of Cadillac, about 65 kilometres south of Swift Current, according to a news release by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment Thursday.

The men were found near Limerick, Sask., with 18 animals, including moose, mule deer, pronghorn antelopes, coyotes, red foxes and pheasants, the release said.

Tyy Pappenfus, a conservation officer, said this was a severe case of illegal hunting.

"This was an extremely large scale compared to most stuff we come across," he said. "It doesn't happen super frequently to this scale."

Conservation officers used DNA testing to link the suspects to a headless deer corpse found earlier near Cadillac, Sask., Pappenfus said.

Officers seized the trailer, along with the wildlife, hunting equipment and cellphones.

Two of the men pleaded guilty to several offences under The Wildlife Act.

One of them was charged with unlawful possession of wildlife, unlawful export of wildlife and wasting wildlife.

The other was changed with unlawful possession of wildlife, unlawful hunting and driving off of trails in a former PFRA pasture. Both men also received two-year hunting suspensions.

Pappenfus said illegal hunting is not victimless.

"You are essentially stealing a resource from the rest of the province," he said.