Conservation officers are seeing people on vehicles interact with animals "inappropriately" as spring begins and they're calling out that behaviour.

It can be tempting to get a closer look at some of those animals, with some people using ATVs and snowmobiles to chase them down.

Harassing animals can carry a charge in Saskatchewan, costing as much as $2,000 and carrying the possible forfeiture of any vehicle used.

Senior Conservation Officer Lindsey Leko explains why those animals are protected from being chased. 

"You're going to see them, but you can't be chasing them. It causes a lot of stress to the animal and can cause potential injuries, so chasing or harassing wildlife with the vehicle, whether it be a snowmobile, a truck, an ATV, it's all unlawful under the Saskatchewan Wildlife Act."

Some of those injuries can go as far as killing the animal.

"It's really stressful on the animal, running in the snow can cause damage to the lower legs and then what ends up happening is that you might call off the chase," said Leko, "But the animal is still in a pretty severe state of anxiety and sometimes death can be a result of that."

There are also a few situations that they've seen in which a rider intentionally runs over the animal.

"We've also seen situations where people have actually run down coyotes, run down rabbits, chased down deer, and actually run them over with their snow machines," said Leko, "I can't think of a more cruel activity."

People doing so can receive fines, with the chance of losing a lot more.

"Normally people who do that, we put it in front of a judge and the judge will make a decision," said Leko, "Normally the fines are pretty severe and they do sometimes risk the potential forfeiture of the vehicle that was used to chase the animals. The consequences for chasing wildlife are pretty severe here in Saskatchewan and many other jurisdictions as well."

If you do see an animal, Leko recommends you keep away from them if you're looking for a picture.

"It's just something that people gotta be aware of if you see the animals, keep your distance. We all see those YouTube videos of people getting too close to these things. They're chasing them, and then the animal just says enough and then they turn on them, and then who gets blamed? The animal."