Massive Moose Poaching Bust Sees 20 Poachers Fined Over $200K

by Braxton Taylor

Canadians don’t like anyone stealing their moose, but they especially don’t like it when the poachers are Americans.

The Government of Ontario announced last week that it had fined 20 defendants a total of $178,400 and ordered them to pay $44,525 in surcharges for a variety of moose-hunting violations, including killing swimming moose from a boat, hunting during a closed season, and obstructing conservation officers.

Additionally, the courts issued a total of 59 years of hunting license suspensions for the parties involved.

The poaching conspiracy centered around a fly-in outfitting business operated by Robert A. Green and Robert W. Green. Bob Green’s Fly-in Camps and Green Airways Ltd. have a main lodge on Mamakwash Lake in western Ontario, along with smaller outposts on other nearby lakes. They offered fishing trips along with a moose hunt, and an archived version of their website indicates they used to guide bear hunts as well.

Provincial officials say the Greens guided clients in wildlife management units where they were not licensed. Once they found a moose, they told clients to shoot moose from motorboats and helped them retrieve the dead animal. Then, to cover up their crimes, they falsified mandatory tourist industry moose hunter reports and directed clients to make false statements and obstruct conservation officers.

The Greens weren’t the only shady outfitters who pleaded guilty in this case. Matt and Janelle Kehoe of Matt and Janelle’s Nungesser Lake Lodge were also involved in the scheme, and they received a two-year prohibition on guiding or providing services to big game hunters.

In total, approximately 12 moose were taken illegally by the Greens and 12 clients: seven Americans and five Ontario residents. Of the seven Americans, five hailed from Indiana, one was from Alabama, and one was from Oklahoma.

Client fines ranged between $800 and $16,200, and license suspensions ranged from 12 years to one year. Chad Dunham of Mitchell, Indiana, received the most significant penalty of the clients involved. He pleaded guilty to unlawfully hunting a swimming bull and cow moose while using a motorboat, hunting moose during a closed season, and hunting a bull moose without a license.

Bob Green’s Fly-in Camps Ltd. was fined $32,500, while Green Airways had its tourism moose tag shares and bear management areas revoked.

Robert A. Green was hit with a $30,000 fine, a five-year hunting license suspension, and is prohibited from guiding big game hunters for two years. Robert W. Green received $12,500 in fines, a five-year hunting license suspension, and is prohibited from guiding big game hunters for two years.

Both men pleaded guilty to the same charges: hunting moose without a license, discharging a firearm from a motorboat, possessing wildlife illegally killed, making a false statement in a document, and obstructing a conservation officer.

For a complete rundown of all the poachers and penalties, click here.

This isn’t the first time this year a group of hunters have been busted for poaching moose in Ontario. Just a few weeks ago, three Ontario residents pleaded guilty to poaching a bull moose. Zachary MacMillan claimed to have shot the bull under the authority of his Indigenous harvesting rights, but DNA evidence and trail cam photos revealed the actual shooter was another man named Gord MacMillan.

Gord was fined $6,000 and received a one-year suspension from all hunting activities while Zachary was fined $2,000.

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