Wildlife protection agents in Quebec rounded up 18 deer and moose poaching suspects in an extensive operation to stop night hunting.
Investigators in the Gaspésie Peninsula conducted 10 searches and levied 80 charges against individuals in a raid to stop excessive poaching.
The raids took place in Murdochville and New Richmond, but people from Saint-Anne-Des-Monts were also targeted. Most of the charges were related to illegal night hunting and having too much deer and moose meat in their possession.
According to the report, two guns and over 500 pounds (250 Kg) of meat were impounded.
Denis Caron, Deputy Director of wildlife protection for the Gaspé and Magdalen Islands said in a translated statement: “The investigation continues today. We are still in (the) process, people will be met and possibly as searches will be added following the information gathered since yesterday,
The investigation started two years ago due to complaints by local citizens. Once authorities began investigating, enough evidence was gleaned to make arrests and charges that could bring fines of up to $100,000.
Just this year, several moose were poached in Gaspésie National Park. At this time there is no direct correlation between the arrests made and the poaching that was recorded in October, 2015, but Caron wouldn’t leave it at that saying “There is no link yet, but (this side yet) the investigation continues.”