All photos copyright Jim Robertson
All photos copyright Jim Robertson
Two New Hampshire men are facing federal charges involving p…
Berlin police are mum on whether a member of the department convicted last year of using a drone to hunt for moose in Dixville was ever disciplined by the department.
During a one-day bench trial on July 23, 2020, in Lancaster District Court, Judge Janet Subers found Wade Goulet, 41, of Milan, guilty of using a drone to scout for moose on Oct. 23, 2019, and then sharing what he observed with others.
According to Fish and Game officials, using a drone is illegal because it violates the principle of fair chase, giving access to larger and more remote areas than a hunter could reach on foot.
“I think it’s particularly egregious for a licensed guide to violate this provision for the purpose of making money,” Subers said during the trial. “It’s not just about taking the moose for food or trophy or whatever other reason that you’re out there hunting moose. A licensed guide is out there for the sole purpose of making money … and it’s not fair to the other hunters, certainly not fair to wildlife and it’s not fair chase.”
Fish and Game prosecutors told Subers that Goulet, a licensed New Hampshire guide, was moonlighting for Northern New England Outfitters in Errol, which was eager to find a trophy-sized moose for a client who had paid the company $5,000 for the opportunity.
The Union Leader recently learned about the incident through a tip mailed anonymously to the newspaper.
Goulet, according to published accounts, is a graduate of Berlin High School who has been with the Berlin Police Department since 2004. He was a classmate at both Berlin High School and the New Hampshire Police Academy with Dustin Parent, who is a co-owner of Northern New England Outfitters. At trial, Parent testified that he is a lieutenant with the Gilford Police Department.
The Berlin Police Department’s online staff directory says Goulet is a detective sergeant.
A call Tuesday seeking comment from Berlin Deputy Chief Daniel Buteau was not returned. Buteau is a frequent spokesman for the agency and was on the state’s witness list for Goulet’s trial, but did not testify.
As a result of his conviction, Goulet was fined and had his hunting license suspended for a year and his guide license suspended for three years, a Fish and Game official said Tuesday.
While the state urged Subers to impose a relatively lenient financial penalty on Goulet — $248 per conviction — the judge demurred, saying the fines might be appropriate if this was “a regular hunter — and not a licensed guide.”
Subers earlier noted that she is not obliged to follow the state’s sentencing guidelines and also explained her rationale for fining Goulet $1,240 per conviction.
Goulet admitted in his own testimony to breaking the law, she said, including his telling a hunter he encountered on Flume Brook Road that he was “looking for moose” for a 55-inch antler challenge and was working for a guide service.
Conservation Officer Chris Egan, who along with fellow officer Eric Fluette presented the state’s case, said it was not an accident that Goulet was using a drone to find moose at the midpoint of the 2019 moose hunt.
The timing was suspicious, said Egan, because it came “when his boss still had … a 50-plus inch challenge moose client remaining. That is no coincidence.”
The conservation officers said even though Goulet told a hunter in Dixville and Parent that he had not seen any moose while using the drone, that information alone is significant because it saves a hunter from spending time on a futile search.
In his closing argument, Goulet said the drone “was never used to harvest a moose and to say ‘assist,’ … it’s kind of tough to say ‘assist’” because the word was “so unclear.”
He said that “should I, the defendant, be found guilty of these violations of ‘un-clarity,’” the real penalty would be the loss of his hunting and guide licenses.
His guide license, Goulet said, “is a good form of secondary income for my family” and to lose it would not be “fair.” He estimated that “over the course of not having a guide’s license, I’m going to be in the hole for around $20,000.”
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The Idaho Department of Fish and Game are investigating a poaching case where a cow and calf moose were found on Moscow Mountain near Hatter Creek.
According to IDFG the remains were found on December 20. It is believed both moose were killed earlier the same day.
No moose hunting seasons were open at the time and no hunting seasons exist for cow moose throughout the Clearwater region due to concerns regarding moose populations levels.
Officials said evidence suggests multiple people may have been involved with killing the moose.
Anyone with information is asked to call IDFG Senior Conservation Officer, Tony Imthurn at (208) 716-8099. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.
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Torontonians are certainly familiar with white squirrels, and possibly even white raccoons, but have you ever seen a white moose?https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1324254206145007617&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogto.com%2Fcity%2F2020%2F11%2Fsomeone-killed-rare-white-moose-ontario%2F&siteScreenName=blogTO&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
The animals are extremely rare, and like the other stark white creatures above, lack their usual colour due to gene mutations that lead to full albinism — no pigment and red eyes — or leucism, which is drastically reduced pigmentation.
Due to their shocking and ethereal appearance, white moose are often deemed to be “spirit moose” and in some Indigenous traditions can signify the return of an ancestor who has pressing knowledge to impart.
A few years ago in Sweden, there was even a 15,000-strong petition to save one of the extraordinary beings from being hunted.
Because of their symbolism and how hard they are to come by, the killing of such an animal is absolute sacrilege to some, not to mention illegal in some parts — and yet one of these moose has just been killed in Ontario.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1324447032938029057&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogto.com%2Fcity%2F2020%2F11%2Fsomeone-killed-rare-white-moose-ontario%2F&siteScreenName=blogTO&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
Sometime during the last week of October, an unknown hunter shot and killed a white cow moose along with one other moose near Sudbury in an act that is being called “senseless.”
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is now seeking the help of the public in finding the perpetrator who killed the majestic animal on Nova Road near Kilometer 18, east of the community of Foleyet in the province’s north.
“Hunting is a privilege and should not be taken for granted,” a statement from the local Crime Stoppers arm reads. “As a community let’s catch the people responsible for this senseless act.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1324445695970074625&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blogto.com%2Fcity%2F2020%2F11%2Fsomeone-killed-rare-white-moose-ontario%2F&siteScreenName=blogTO&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
Hopefully, like others who have barbarically hunted down white moose in Canada in the past, the person responsible in this case will realize they’ve made a grave mistake and come forward — or will be outed by anyone who knows anything about the incident.
Harvesting the wrong big game animal in Colorado could cost you. With the fall hunting seasons upon us, hunters are being reminded to know the difference between a moose and an elk before they pull the trigger.
While it may be hard to believe, mistaken kills happen almost every year. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), hunters accidentally and illegally kill moose by mistakenly shooting them for an elk. The video below from Fox31 Denver News dives into some of the details. https://w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/anvload.html?
Antler confusion is one of the most common mistakes. Wildlife officials say antlers on moose do not reach full development until the ages of 8 to 13 years old. https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1321888506239721474&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.outtherecolorado.com%2Fnews%2Fhunters-reportedly-confuse-moose-for-elk-in-colorado%2Farticle_2dc65a86-1ed9-11eb-aa51-57483a05735f.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px
“Mistaken kills” are classified into three categories including accidental harvest, careless, and negligent. Depending on the mix-up, hunters could face fines up to $1,000 and the potential loss of hunting privileges.https://fedeaf62183652563b9354a478318091.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
There are many ways to tell a moose apart from an elk.
When it comes to behavior, Moose are fairly solitary. They’re often found wandering alone in the wilderness with the exception of when they’re accompanied by their young. Elk, on the other hand, often migrate in large herds.
The two species are also quite different in size. Moose are the largest members of the deer family, weighing as much as 1,200 pounds. That’s nearly twice as much as the average bull elk , which weighs between 660 and 780 pounds.
Moose are also much darker in color, with brown coats that can often appear black. Elk range in color from tan to light brown with darker heads, necks, and legs. Bull elk have a distinctive pale yellow rump.
It’s also important to note that moose behave much differently toward humans. Moose are typically less likely to steer away from a hunter than an elk, sometimes making them easier kill, but also potentially making them more of a threat should they become aggressive.
With so many different animals found in Colorado, it’s important for hunters to know how to tell various species apart for the safety of animal populations and to avoid unintentionally breaking the law.
The Manitoba Metis Federation has indicated it’s prepared for a legal battle over members’ constitutional rights to hunt moose.
“We are standing firm on our commitment to a balanced approach for Métis harvesters seeking moose meat to feed their families and elders, while limiting the number of animals taken,” said MMF president David Chartrand in an Oct. 9 news release.
“Any Métis harvester card holder with a drawn tag who is charged by this premier will be protected by your Métis Government,” the release says.
This came after the province announced it would extend a ban on moose hunting in designated conservation areas including the Duck and Porcupine Mountain areas and various other game hunting areas (GHAs). The moratorium has been in place since 2011 to conserve a dwindling number of moose.
Along with human impacts, parasites and disease, habitat losses, predation and climate change have all negatively affected moose populations, the province said.
In January, an aerial population survey for Porcupine Mountain found an estimate of 997 moose with a range of 837 to 1,157 and found an improved bull-to-cow ratio since the closing of the area to all moose hunting, according to the province.
A survey of the Duck Mountain area found an estimate of 2,171 moose with a range of 1,841 to 2,519.
These estimates are below historic levels, but higher than estimates from the early 2000s, indicating slow population growth.
At the end of September, MMF announced it would partially reopen Porcupine Mountain, Duck Mountain and GHA 26 for Métis hunters to harvest moose.
This was based on indications from the province it would allow up to 60 moose tags for 2020, MMF said on Oct. 9. MMF had acquired 26 tags.
MMF told Métis citizens that groups of at least four hunters could request a moose tag for this area with the understanding they would share harvested moose with elders and vulnerable citizens.
“This measure is particularly important as it will provide additional support throughout the pandemic,” said Chartrand. “We want to ensure that Métis hunters are able to provide for the needs of their loved ones and those of our elders and our vulnerable citizens.”
The ban announcement represented a provincial pivot, MMF said.
“In response to the MMF’s limited opening of harvesting 26 moose in these areas, the government of Manitoba is now doing a 180-degree pivot on its proposed moose closure reopening,” stated MMF Minister of Natural Resources and Citizenship Leah LaPlante in a news release.
“We have received letters, the most recent being dated September 28, 2020, that indicate there were full intentions of Manitoba reopening ‘an authorized, limited, bulls-only moose harvest for the Duck and Porcupine Mountain… effective November 1 through December 15, 2020,’” said LaPlante.
MMF said it agreed to the 2011 ban, but the continuation was done without proper consultation. The province has ignored Manitoba Métis’s constitutional rights by neither consulting with them or giving them an accommodation despite a letter from MMF requesting consultation in 2019, MMF said.
The Southern Chiefs Organization also said it was disappointed with the provincial government in an Oct. 1 news release and said the province had also failed to consult with the SCO.
“The province of Manitoba cannot create its own processes for determining the harvesting eligibility of communities whose rights are protected,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “It sets a dangerous precedent when the province thinks it has the authority to pick and choose which First Nations’ Treaty Rights it respects and which it ignores when it comes to harvesting.”
SCO did not indicate if it would encourage members to hunt despite the ban, and declined to comment further when the Manitoba Co-operator contacted it.
Moose hunters would not be welcome in GHA 26, which falls within the traditional territory of Sagkeeng First Nation, the Sagkeeng chief and council said in a statement Oct. 5.
“The Sagkeeng First Nation maintains that the MMF does not have the right or authority to fully reopen GHA 26 to the harvesting of moose or even hunt in the area,” the statement says, citing the First Nation’s rights as the traditional landholders of that area.
“Current hunting restrictions have been in place as a conservation measure… to ensure the long-term sustainability of a resource that is of the utmost importance to Sagkeeng First Nation and its members,” they wrote, adding they would take “all steps necessary” to ensure preservation of moose in that area.
The Indigenous People Alliance released a statement reiterating Métis and Indigenous rights to hunt and calling for the province to open further discussion into the matter.
IPAM president Ernie Blais said MMF’s decision to establish a limited moose harvest was done without consultation with Métis members of IPAM but committed to working with “all Métis and non-Indigenous to come to an understanding, especially is (sic) the Manitoba Wildlife Federation.”
Manitoba Wildlife Federation praised the hunting ban extension for putting moose populations first in a news release. Previously the organization had expressed outrage when the Manitoba Metis Federation allocated tags to Métis hunters, saying “MMF has no legal authority to reopen hunting in closure areas,” in a September 30 news release.
“ALL (sic) user groups need to abide by ONE (sic) management strategy to ensure sustainable wildlife populations,” MWF wrote.
In an Oct. 9 press conference, Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development Blaine Pedersen told media that the province appreciates Indigenous people’s right to hunt, but it was the moose that would lose if hunting was reopened.
“If we don’t act, there won’t be any more,” he said.
Pedersen did not explain why the province changed its mind on allowing a limited moose hunt this year, and insisted the province had consulted with MMF and had records of doing so.
The attack was the first known bear mauling fatality at Wrangell-St. Elias since the park was established in 1980
A hunter was killed by a grizzly bear at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska on Sunday, the first known bear fatality in the country’s largest national park.
The hunter was with a friend on a 10-day moose hunt at the park, which is located in southeast Alaska, when the incident occurred near the Chisana River drainage, the National Park Service said in a news release.
The hunter’s identity is being withheld pending an investigation, and the cause of death and type of injuries sustained remain unclear.
The NPS said it was the first known bear mauling fatality at Wrangell-St. Elias since the park was established in 1980.
“Visitors are encouraged to be Bear Aware when traveling in the backcountry and take precautions such as carrying bear spray and using Bear Resistant Food Containers,” the release said.
Guidelines issued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for staying safe around bears vary based on the situation, but hunters are advised to never approach a bear, and to remain calm and make yourself appear larger if you are approached. Running is also not advised, as it may elicit a chase response.
RELATED: ‘Predatory’ Black Bears Kill Two People Within Two Days in Alaska Wilderness
It’s known for its mountains, rivers and glaciers, and also contains one of the largest active volcanoes in North America.
The height of the bears in the park range from 4.5 feet to 6 or 7 feet tall, and they can measure up to 9 feet when standing. They weigh between 300 and 1,500 pounds, the NPS said.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry wants to remind hunters that abandoning a shot moose is illegal. In the event the wrong animal is shot, contact a conservation officer.
Four men have been fined a total of $17,500 and handed seven years in hunting suspensions for illegal moose hunting-related offences. Another member of the hunting party is scheduled to appear in court at a later date.
Michel Beaudoin of Timmins pleaded guilty to hunting a bull moose without a licence, as well as transporting wildlife unlawfully killed, and abandoning flesh suitable for human consumption. Marc Dillon of Timmins pleaded guilty to transporting wildlife unlawfully killed, as well as wasting flesh suitable for human consumption. Roland Laurin of Kapuskasing and Real Laurin of Hearst both pleaded guilty to possession of illegally killed wildlife.
Court heard that on December 7, 2018, Michel Beaudoin, who was not licenced to hunt moose, shot a bull moose when his hunting party only possessed a cow moose game seal. After realizing the wrong animal had been hunted, members of the hunting party transported the moose away from the kill site. The next day, a snowmobile was used to transport the moose to a remote location to avoid detection by conservation officers.
The shot bull moose was discovered by conservation officers and an MNRF canine team, acting on information received from the public. Once the bull moose was located, a lengthy investigation was conducted by conservation officers from the Hearst Enforcement Unit with the assistance of Timmins officers.
Justice of the Peace François Cloutier heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Hearst, on March 10, 2020.
Conservation officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the current COVID-19 outbreak and would like to remind everyone that by respecting seasons, sanctuaries, bag and possession limits we all help ensure our natural resources stay healthy. Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
To report a natural resource violation or provide information about an unsolved case, members of the public can call the ministry TIPS line toll free at 1-877-847-7667 or contact your local ministry office. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS. For more information about unsolved cases, please visit ontario.ca/mnrftips.
WARNING: This story contains an image that some people may find upsetting.
A moose left dying with bullet wounds on a B.C. forest service road has a wildlife group asking the public for help to find the poacher.
The Pemberton Wilidlife Association (PWA) is offering a reward to anyone who might have information about how the animal was shot and left for dead at the summit of the Hurley River Forest Service Road.
The road runs through woodlands just north of Pemberton, B.C.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service confirms that a mature bull moose was shot and died in the area some time between June 6 at 7 p.m. and June 7 at 9 a.m. PT.
“We are hoping some person with a sense of moral responsibility knows who did this senseless stupid act,” said Sgt. Bob Butcher.
PWA president Allen McEwan suspects the moose was illegally shot and left for dead by a poacher.
“This is completely out of season, there’s no moose hunting this time of the year, and to make a poor shot and leave a moose to suffer at the side of the road — it’s just a horrible act,” said McEwan.
Moose hunting is allowed in the area, but only in the fall. Hunters are legally obligated to pack up the carcass and utilize all the meat.
McEwan and other PWA members removed the dead animal so it wouldn’t attract bears. They’re hoping tips from the public could lead to finding the poacher and convicting them. Illegal hunting in B.C. carries fines of up to $50,000 and six months imprisonment.
McEwan says these types of incidents are rare but not unheard of. He says there are several unsolved cases in the Squamish and Lillooet valleys of animals that were shot in the fall and left behind.
He’s calling for greater provincial oversight in the area.
“If [the province] is going to allow people to hunt and recreate on Crown land, they desperately need to step up and put more enforcement personnel in the field on a regular basis,” he said.
“This is just an example of what happens when you leave a huge piece of Crown land unsupervised, and the province needs to step up and do a better job,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the PWA, or B.C.’s Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1 877 952-7277.
The state’s annual moose hunt lottery drawing was held Friday. Winners were selected from a pool of more than 6,000 applicants.
The hunters are assigned to specific wildlife management areas.
The moose hunting season runs from Oct. 17-25. Last year, hunters killed 38 moose, a success rate of 76 percent.