COMMENTS BY KIM: Disturbing, disgusting and illegal
The poaching of big game in North Dakota universally riles up state citizens. It is especially true when the poaching appears to be a “thrill kill” and nothing else. No meat cut away or antlers taken. That is what happened recently about six miles south of Dunseith.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is seeking help to solve the disturbing case of the illegal shooting of five adult moose, two bulls and three cows. Particularly disgusting is that one of the cows, pregnant with triplets, had two of her unborn calves cut out of her and left at the scene.
State Game Wardens respond to poaching calls throughout the year for deer, antelope and the occasional elk or moose. But the indiscriminate killing of five moose at a single location, and the cutting out of the calves, makes this poaching case particularly senseless.
Someone, maybe several people, know some details about this high publicity case. The Report All Poachers program is offering a $2,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction.
The case has been thoroughly disseminated through regular means and on social media. Response has shown the furious anger and complete disgust that many feel about the killings. Social media is full of comments such as, “throw the book at them” and “lock ’em up and throw away the key.”
Poaching stirs the emotions, particularly when as completely pointless as this incident. This is one of those times when many feel the penalty may not match the crime. Poaching is a misdemeanor in North Dakota. So is wanton waste, which is another charge the perpetrator or perpetrators of this moose killing will likely be facing.
The maximum penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is one year’s imprisonment and a fine of $3,000. However, misdemeanor convictions almost never result in the maximum penalty being imposed by the court. Nevertheless, I hope the case is solved and the person or persons responsible are brought before a judge. Perhaps a tough sentence will follow.
Anyone with information regarding this moose poaching is asked to call the RAP hotline at 701-328-9921 or District Game Warden Jonathan Tofteland at 701-201-0703.