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Firing at deer decoy nets costly fine

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Two Minnesota men each have been fined $2,000 after pleading guilty to unlawfully discharging a firearm from a motor boat.

Lee Becker, 64, and Douglas Freitag, 58, both from Angle Inlet, Mn., also have been banned from hunting in Ontario for a year.

Their two firearms will be returned when the fines are paid.

On Oct. 11, Ministry of Natural Resources conservation officers from Kenora District set up a deer decoy in the area of the North West Angle (Lake of the Woods), about 50 km southwest of Kenora.

Four non-resident deer hunters in a motor boat drove past the decoy when one of the passengers spotted it.

Freitag, the driver and owner of the boat, turned the boat around and Becker, a passenger in the back, loaded his rifle and shot at the decoy.

As soon as the men realized they had shot at a decoy, Freitag turned the boat around and headed towards the Minnesota border.

Conservation officers stopped the boat shortly after. Freitag admitted to driving the boat when the decoy was shot while Becker admitted to shooting the decoy from the boat.

Justice of the Peace Robert McNally heard the case Nov. 27 in Kenora.

To report a natural resource violation, call toll-free 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) any time or contact your local MNR office during regular business hours.

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