A 19-year-old hunter in Colorado has been fined nearly $20,000 after shooting, killing and abandoning a moose in November 2018.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) was tipped off about the young man’s actions by a fellow hunter who found the dead moose, according to a news release. Officials responded to the scene and recovered a .270 caliber bullet from the animal’s spoiled carcass. Along with the tracks of the suspect’s boots, police were able to use the bullet to positively identify the hunter who shot the moose at a nearby hunting camp.
The man admitted to shooting the moose while out hunting elk, though he said the animal was too far away to positively be identified. He did not have a moose hunting license.
On Aug. 9, Callan Hyatt pleaded guilty to five misdemeanor violations, including hunting in a careless manner, failing to locate wounded game, failing to dress wildlife, illegal possession of wildlife and hunting without a license, according to CPW.
Hyatt was sentenced to pay almost $10,000 in fines, in addition to a mandatory $10,000 fine for killing a bull moose that would qualify as trophy game. He also faces a possible five-year suspension of his hunting and fishing privileges in 47 states.
"We understand hunting mistakes and accidents will happen, but we expect sportsmen and women to take immediate responsibility for their actions," said CPW District Wildlife Officer Jeff Behncke in the news release.
"Thankfully the vast majority of hunters are ethical and do the right thing in cases like this; unfortunately, there are a few that may prefer to try and evade authorities. We offer everyone this advice; if you accidentally kill the wrong species, you should call us right away and field dress the animal immediately so that it does not spoil."
Behncke suggested that hunters who follow the regulations for killing the wrong species in Colorado may be subject to fines of only $70.50, rather than $20,000.