2 men plead guilty to illegal guiding, outfitting in Sask.

Two men have been fined a total of more than $5,700 for illegal guiding and outfitting in the Pinehouse Lake, Sask., area. 

Battleford man Brett Mitchell, 49, and Pinehouse man Kelly Natomagan, 46, pleaded guilty to a string of charges after an investigation by the Ministry of Environment in September 2016.

The guides were working with five U.S. clients when the crimes took place.

Mitchell pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a client to hunt without a licence; aiding and abetting a client to hunt big game with a projectile of .23 calibre or less; contravening the terms and conditions of an outfitter licence by providing game bird hunting; and providing false or misleading information.  

He was fined $4,110 and received a one-year hunting suspension.

Natomagan pleaded guilty to unlawfully providing a guiding service for game bird hunting; aiding and abetting a client to fish with a treaty Indian who is fishing for food; and obstructing a peace officer.  

The ministry said statements and evidence for the investigation were collected with assistance from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Hunting in unauthorized areas serious: ministry

The ministry said outfitting and guiding in unauthorized areas is a serious issue and hinders other outfitters who follow the rules.  

It said laws to manage outfitting, outfitter allocations and areas are designed to provide effective management of wildlife populations.

The ministry asked anyone who suspects fisheries, wildlife, forestry or environmental violations to call a local Ministry of Environment office or Saskatchewan's toll-free Turn In Poachers line at 1-800-667-7561.