Five men from Quebec have been fined nearly $50,000 for poaching near Moose Jaw.

The Ministry of Environment has fined the men a combined total of $47,670 after a two-year investigation.

The province says conservation officers heard about illegal hunting activities in 2016. Officers then conducted a two-week surveillance operation in October of 2017 looking at two different groups of hunters near Moose Jaw and Parkbeg.

The officers found the men were wasting migratory birds. Further investigation into one of the men’s trailers also revealed they were illegally hunted big game animals and shooting protected species. The men are facing 65 provincial and federal charges, including unlawfully transporting migratory birds without one fully feathered wing, hunting migratory birds with no seasons and transporting animals or plants taken in contravention of provincial legislation. They are also facing criminal code charges for causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to an animal or bird. Additional charges include hunting without a valid licence and unlawful possession.

The men were fined after pleading guilty to multiple charges. They have also received five-year provincial hunting suspensions and one-year federal hunting suspensions. Any hunting equipment or firearms seized during the investigation have been forfeited to the Crown.

Anyone who suspects poaching is asked to report it to the Turn In Poachers line at 1-800-667-7561. Violations can also be reported online at