October 1, 2013: Two men have been fined for harassing a cow moose.
Andrew Weiers of Dryden, Ontario, and Matthew Weiers of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta,
both pleaded guilty and were fined a total of $2,500 after the ministry received
complaints about boaters harassing a swimming moose. The boat, owned and operated
by Andrew Weiers, was seized and will be returned once the fines are paid.
The court heard that on July 29, 2013, Dryden District Ministry of Natural Resources
conservation officers responded to public complaints of people harassing a moose
with their boat in Outlet Bay of Eagle Lake, in Dryden.
Several witnesses provided evidence to the officers, including a video recording
showing a boat circling a swimming moose. After circling the moose, the boat went
to shore and returned shortly after with three other adult passengers. The boat
repeatedly drove in tight circles around the swimming moose, preventing it from
going to shore. Matthew Weiers, a passenger, jumped out of the boat and onto the
back of the swimming moose.
Justice of the Peace Edith Baas heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice,
Dryden, on September 17, 2013.
Moose populations are carefully managed in the province and subject to restrictions
on harvest. Some of these populations are under pressure across many parts of Northwestern
Ontario for a variety of reasons. As prey animals, moose are biologically programmed
to fear and will attempt to escape from predators, including humans. Inability to
escape a predator attack can cause moose extreme physical exhaustion and stress,
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).