Stephane Lavoie pleaded guilty and was fined $2,500 for careless hunting and $1,500 for hunting at night. He is banned from hunting in Ontario for two years and must retake the Ontario Hunter Education Course before applying for a future licence. His rifle was permanently forfeited to the Crown.

The court heard that on November 2, 2011, conservation officers were called to assist the Rainy River Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) in an investigation involving the accidental discharge of a firearm inside a vehicle on Highway 71, near the hamlet of Finland.

When the conservation officers arrived, they learned that at
approximately 11:30 p.m. OPP officers came across a vehicle pulled over on the side of the highway. While the vehicle was being checked by the OPP, Lavoie's gun, which was loaded and not in a gun case, accidentally discharged and fired a bullet through the truck floor. Further investigation revealed Lavoie had been hunting deer that night.

The ministry reminds the public that it is illegal to have a loaded firearm in a vehicle and to hunt at night. You may only hunt from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset.

Justice of the Peace Pat Clysdale-Cornell heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Fort Frances, on January 27, 2012.

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

For further information on hunting regulations:
Hunting regulations