Snapping Turtle (© Can Stock Photo / mack_ch)

Hundreds Of Dollars In Fines For Turtle Hunters

Two Elgin County fishermen who caught and tried to kill a snapping turtle without a proper licence are now on the hook for $2,500.

Officials with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry say Daniel Ste-Marie pleaded guilty in August 2017 and Jeffrey Bourgeois was found guilty on February 1, 2018. As a result, Ste-Marie was fined $500 for hunting a game reptile without a licence and Bourgeois was fined $2,000 for hunting a game reptile without a licence.

According to court documents, conservation officers spotted Ste-Marie and Bourgeois fishing along the Thames River in Oxford County on July 23, 2017. Those officers also found a severely injured snapping turtle hidden under a pail a short distance away from the pair of fishermen. The officers then learned that Ste-Marie had caught the turtle while he was fishing and that Bourgeois had tried to kill it in an attempt to keep it for eating later.

The hunting of snapping turtles in Ontario was banned on April 1, 2017.