Irasburg man pleads innocent to poaching moose

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copyright the Chronicle January 3, 2018

 NEWPORT — The man who game wardens say killed a cow moose, dragged it behind his truck from Westmore to Barton, and left its carcass beside the road to rot has denied the stack of charges against him.

Gerin J. Fortin, 21, of Irasburg, appeared in the Criminal Division of Orleans Superior Court on December 26 and pled innocent to two charges of taking game by an illegal method, that is, shooting from a vehicle; taking a big game animal by illegal means; possessing a big game animal taken by illegal means or out of season; transporting big game taken by illegal means, or out of season; and taking a moose out of season.

All the charges are misdemeanors, but if found guilty, Mr. Fortin could face a year in jail and have to pay as much as $8,000 in fines and restitution.

In his affidavit, Game Warden Thomas Scott said he got a call on September 23 telling him about a dead cow moose found off the Hollow Road in Barton. Warden Jason Dukette, who was on duty, went to Barton and found the moose.

He said the condition of the carcass and a two-foot-wide bloody drag mark showed it had been dragged to the place where it was found. Warden Dukette noticed two gunshot wounds on the moose.

The warden followed the drag marks to Town Highway 5, a Class Four road, in Westmore, where Warden Scott joined him. They continued to follow the trail, which led to a hay field. Tire marks were clearly visible on either side of the drag mark in the tall grass.

At the northern edge of the field, the wardens said they found blood, moose hair, a spent .30-06 Remington rifle casing, a tin of Wintergreen Copenhagen long cut chewing tobacco, an empty Budweiser beer can, and a foam beer koozie.

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