Manitoba Conservation and Climate advises that conservation officers are continuing enforcement against illegal night hunting and illegal hunting in moose conservation closure areas. A little before midnight on Nov. 27, conservation officers, with support from an aerial patrol, noticed a vehicle shining its headlights across a field in the Mars Hills area northwest of Beausejour.
Officers watched as the vehicle repeated this behaviour, travelling slowly and sweeping its lights across the field. Officers on the ground were able to intercept the vehicle on PTH 11 and a 17 year old from Beausejour was arrested. A GMC truck, two rifles, ammunition and a whitetail deer head were seized. The teen was given an appearance notice and released to a parent.
Since Oct. 10, conservation officers have conducted patrols to enforce Manitoba’s new Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management), resulting in:
• charges or appearance notices to 45 individuals for serious wildlife offences;
• warnings to 19 individuals for night hunting without a permit or for hunting in a moose conservation closure;
• charges to 11 individuals for possessing illegally taken wildlife;
• seizures of nine vehicles;
• seizures of 18 firearms, and;
• restitution orders totalling $20,500.
On Oct. 10, the Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management) took effect with the goal of ensuring a safe hunting environment. Night hunting is now illegal in Manitoba on all private land. The act also allows the establishment of shared management committees, which can be an important tool for improved wildlife conservation, including for moose.
The province has implemented a permit system to allow opportunities for rights-based hunting on some Crown land, with different requirements for northern and southern Manitoba based on extensive Crown-Indigenous consultations that contributed to the development of the legislation.
In northern Manitoba, Indigenous hunters may hunt at night on Crown land and do not need to apply for a permit, though it is subject to a three-kilometre safety buffer around occupied sites and provincial roadways.
In southern Manitoba, night hunting is prohibited except with a permit that allows rights-based hunting on Crown land, subject to terms and conditions establishing where it can be done safely.