January 17, 2019

Suspect arrested in Northeast Kingdom moose poaching

Vermont game wardens arrested Gerin Fortin, 20, of Irasburg on Oct. 29 in a Northeast Kingdom moose poaching case and charged him with six counts of big game violations.

Charges include taking game by illegal means and in a closed season, and two counts of shooting from a motor vehicle.

Fortin allegedly shot a cow moose from his pickup truck Sept. 23 in Westmore. According to a witness, Fortin struck the moose with his truck and shot it again. The moose was killed out of season and at night.

Fortin allegedly chained the moose up to his truck and dragged it more than 11 miles to the town of Orleans, where it was left to rot by the side of the road, game wardens said.

The moose was lactating, indicating that she likely had a calf with her.

Vermont’s regulated moose hunting seasons are in October, and are limited to a small number of hunting permits that are allocated through a lottery system. Fortin did not possess a moose hunting permit, game wardens said.

Fortin’s Ford F150 pickup truck was seized as evidence, along with his rifle, ammunition and truck chains.

Fortin is due in Orleans County Superior Court on Dec. 26. He faces fines and restitution of up to $8,000 and up to one year in jail.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department asks anyone with information about poaching activity to call their local warden through their nearest state police dispatch.

Anonymous tips may be made to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378).

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