Hunter faces charges for shooting moose
December 22, 2004
A California man is facing federal charges for illegally shooting a cow moose in Grand Teton National Park on November 16th. The 29-year old man could face prosecution charges and fines of up to $8,000 in connection with the incident, according to a news release from Park officials.
The man was a first-time elk hunter and a first-time hunter in the park. He mistakenly identified a cow moose and her calf for an elk cow and calf while legally hunting in the Kelly Hayfields area east of Blacktail Butte. After taking a shot and killing the adult moose, the man approached the carcass and discovered that the animal was not an elk. He then immediately left the area without contacting park rangers to report his error.
Two individuals who were also hunting elk in the area at the time witnessed the shooting and notified park rangers. They supplied pertinent information about the hunter and his vehicle description. This information helped park rangers locate the man after he returned to his home in California.
Grand Teton park rangers, working with a National Park Service special agent from Joshua Tree National Park, contacted and interviewed the hunter regarding the incident. The man confessed and consequently faces charges that could include illegal taking of wrong species, wanton waste of wildlife, failure to report and wildlife restitution penalties. The State of Wyoming recommends restitution values for individual species of wildlife taken. The restitution value for any moose is listed at $7,500.
Park officials remind hunters that they are absolutely responsible to positively identify the animal they are about to shoot. When in doubt, donít take the shot. If an animal is mistakenly shot, hunters should immediately contact a park ranger and report their error. By promptly and openly reporting a violation, hunters may face reduced charges and penalties.