Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and
Forestry Enforcement Branch
It is a November midnight in Northwestern Ontario. The first week of the eleventh month is synonymous with the peak of deer hunting season. The vast darkness observed from the windshield of the helicopter is cut by a single, scanning, Q-beam spotlight from the ground below.
The pilot banks the chopper and zeros in on the light. The steady grumble of the rotors is interrupted by radio communications. Unknown to the spotlight operator below, he is now being silently watched and tracked by well-trained Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) staff, a pilot and a conservation officer (CO), in an EC-130 helicopter some 10,000 feet above.
As he and his comrades continue to scan the cutovers in search of more wildlife to poach, he is unknowingly losing time and space to multiple conservation officers and K9 units on the ground, descending on the remote area. At 12:10 am, the night hunting spree comes to an abrupt end as the poachers roll into more flashing lights than a Santa Clause parade. The jig is up, and as the takedown unfolds, the faces of the accused ironically take on that “deer in the headlights” look.