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Case Files

Case File  #19   December 2008

Killing a Turkey in Closed Season

In February of 2009, Game Warden Josh Smith received an Operation Game Thief complaint that stated a poacher from the town of Peru had illegally killed a turkey out of season in the town of Canton a few weeks prior to the report. Warden Smith, familiar with the poacher, checked into his fish and game history, as the warden was aware that he was convicted of night hunting within the last couple of years. Warden Smith found that the poacher had his hunting license revoked  because of his guilty plea to night hunting.

Warden Smith went to the poacher's residence in early March and was met by the poacher at the front door. While in the doorway, Warden Smith was able to see a turkey fan mounted on the wall of the living room. The poacher was cooperative when he accompanied the warden to his truck. After being advised that he did not have to speak with the warden, nor was he under arrest, the poacher agreed to speak with the warden. After some questioning, the poacher admitted to shooting the hen turkey from his vehicle in December (closed season in Maine) with his .177 pellet gun in the presence of his wife and her brother. The excuse given by the poacher was that he had three young boys, had been out of work and struggled to provide for his family. When asked where the turkey parts were, the poacher said he had it mounted on the wall of the living room. On a home-made plate on the mount, the poacher inscribed the mount with, "Shot by _________, 2008, Shot with .177 peleit gun"

Warden Smith inquired about the 2008 license he was in possession of, given his revocation for night hunting a year or so prior to the incident. The poacher knew his license was revoked but purchased another one anyway.

The poacher was given a summons for Killing a Turkey in Closed Season and one for Obtaining a Suspended or Revoked License. He was summoned to District Court in Rumford where he pled guilty to the charges and was fined $650.00 with an additional year revoked on his license.

The turkey fan, firearm and license will be on display in the Wall of Shame trailer. This is yet another great example of what Maine game wardens can do when given accurate information through our Operation Game Thief Program!

 

 


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