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Case File  #30   February 2011

Double Moose Kill

On November 2, 2010, Warden Kevin Pelkey received a different sort of Operation Game Thief complaint. The OGT caller was a moose hunter in northern Maine reporting that he mistakenly shot two moose during the open season on moose. Warden Pelkey met the hunter and the hunter stated he saw a moose in a clear cut approximately 125 yards away and fired at it twice with the moose falling down. The hunter further stated that as he walked toward the moose he saw the moose raise his head and looked at him. Taking better aim against a small tree, the hunter fired again from a distance of 30 yards and the moose dropped.  When the hunter approached the moose he found he had shot two moose; a cow and a calf. When the hunter saw the calf trying to get up, he decided to go call Operation Game Thief.

Warden Pelkey and the hunter arrived at the scene of a clear cut in T9R3 and found the two moose, just as the hunter reported. The cow had been shot in the moose's "hump" and the calf had been shot through the stomach. The warden was able to see a noticeable difference in size between the cow and calf of approximately 200 pounds. The dead moose were approximately 458 feet from where the hunter claims to have originally shot from.

Under most circumstances, the hunter would have been technically guilty of exceeding the bag limit on moose which is punishable by a $1,000 fine, 3 days in jail and automatic loss of hunting privileges for one year. However, given this hunter's honesty, Warden Pelkey exercised good judgment and summonsed the hunter for a Violation of Rule. The hunter paid a fine and did not lose his firearm or hunting license.

And, yes, the hunter was able to keep the cow moose - Warden Pelkey seized the calf moose.

Although OGT is a vehicle used to report acts of poaching, this honest hunter made a mistake and reported himself to OGT. Honesty is truly the best policy but it also took Warden Pelkey's investigation to show that this hunter's actions were likely unintentional rather than intentional.


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