Four individuals from the Wakaw area have pled guilty to 18 charges involving various hunting infractions.
Donna Balone, Miles Balone, Travis Balone, and Nicole Forcier were fined a combined $16,960 in provincial court. They also received hunting suspensions ranging from one to three years.
A Ministry of Environment press release called the family’s behavior ‘an unusual pattern of unethical hunting practices.” The offences were committed over a 10 year period.
The investigation began on Nov. 21, 2021 when a Saskatoon conservation officer stopped Travis Balone and Nicole Forcier while on a hunting patrol near Wakaw. The officer discovered Balone carrying and hunting with Forcier’s white-tailed deer seal.
The officer discovered another two trophy white-tailed deer skulls when they searched the pair’s residence. The deer skulls were taken earlier in the season. Both had seals attached: one belonging to Travis Balone, and the other to his mother, Donna.
The officer seized the skull with Travis’ seal immediately after Forcier admitted to shooting it. The officer seized the second skull after confirming Travis shot the deer and placed his mother’s’ seal on it.
Those infractions where the first of several discovered after further investigation. The Ministry of Environment press release identified four other offences:
• 2014: Miles Balone shot a trophy bull moose without a licence. Forcier later allowed him to attach her draw moose seals to the animal
• 2012-2016: Nicole Forcier purchased white-tailed deer licences and entered the Big Game Draw despite not receiving her hunter education and firearm safety certificate until November 2016
• Nov. 20, 2021: Travis Balone hunted a trophy white-tailed buck with help from his father, Miles, but failed to field dress and tag the deer, continuing to hunt instead. He later attached Donna Balone’s game seal to the animal
• Travis and Donna Balone falsified their hunter harvest survey records
• all parties involved provided false or misleading information to the officer throughout the investigation