The Ontario government is safeguarding wildlife populations by ensuring hunters follow hunting regulations.
Four men were fined a total of $16,000 for hunting big game without licences and tagging and hunter-safety violations.
Louis Diamandakos of Peterborough pleaded guilty to hunting big game without a licence, transporting illegally obtained wildlife, possessing a copy/counterfeit tag, possessing a loaded firearm on a conveyance, unlawfully enabling someone to use his tag and possessing a loaded and un-encased firearm at night. He was fined a total of $6,000.
Michael Diamandakos of Peterborough pleaded guilty to hunting big game without a licence, possessing a copy/counterfeit tag, possessing a loaded firearm on a conveyance, possessing a loaded firearm at night and hunting with a gun without a firearms licence. He was fined $4,500.
Eugene Gelsomino of Nobleton pleaded guilty to transporting illegally obtained wildlife, possessing illegally obtained wildlife and unlawfully enabling someone to use his tag. His total fine amounted to $2,500.
Sandy Gelsomino of Nobleton pleaded guilty to hunting big game without a licence, possessing a loaded and un-encased firearm at night, hunting with a gun without a firearms licence and possessing illegally obtained wildlife, and was fined a total of $3,000.
The court heard that on the evening of November 19, 2022, conservation officers were conducting a foot patrol in the vicinity of Coopers Falls Road near the Town of Gravenhurst. The patrol was in response to public complaints of gunshots after dark in that area during the previous deer hunting season in 2021. Well after legal hunting time that night, the officers contacted Louis and Michael Diamandakos driving ATVs in possession of three harvested untagged deer and a black bear. Each ATV also contained loaded firearms. Sandy and Eugene Gelsomino were contacted shortly after in the same area. Sandy Gelsomino was in possession of an un-encased loaded shotgun and did not have a firearms licence.
The subsequent investigation determined that Eugene Gelsomino possessed a deer licence valid for a different wildlife management unit than the one where he was hunting. He intended to unlawfully use this licence for one of the harvested deer. Both Sandy Gelsomino and Louis Diamandakos harvested an antlerless deer that day without a licence. Michael Diamandakos harvested the black bear without a licence and had intended to unlawfully use Louis Diamandakos’ bear licence to cover the bear.
It was also determined that Michael Diamandakos harvested a deer earlier that week and continued to hunt with a copy of his original tag which he produced to the officers that evening. Louis Diamandakos was also found to be in possession of a copy of his original deer hunting tag. The wildlife, copied tags and firearms were seized.
Justice of the Peace Maryan Hudswell heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Bracebridge, on July 19, 2023.
To report a natural resource problem or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit ontario.ca/mnrftips.