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Game and Fish asks for help in moose poaching case

Calves cut from mother

It is one of the worst poaching cases in recent memory. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reports that three cow moose and two bulls were shot and killed around April 25-30 six miles southwest of Dunseith.

The poaching of big game animals happens occasionally, but this moose killing has Game and Fish and law enforcement looking for answers.

“We’ll take any leads we can get to tie this together,” said Jonathan Tofteland, NDG&F district game warden. “This is kind of a big one, definitely bigger than we’ve had in the past. What’s more, it’s a mystery to me. It dumbfounds us.”

Not only were five moose shot and killed but one was carrying three calves, two of which were cut from the cow moose’s body and left alongside the dead mother.

“There’s eight moose that are gone. No meat was taken and the bulls had already dropped their antlers,” said Tofteland. “The only thing they did was cut out two of the three calves.”

Poachers sometimes shoot big game animals to acquire trophy antlers. Sometimes for meat, but this killing of eight moose appears to be for a much different reason. The shooting, said Tofteland, probably occurred on two different occasions and likely from a nearby roadway. The moose were killed on private land about a mile from Willow Creek.

The person or persons responsible for the killings could be charged with several violations, including hunting in a closed season and wanton waste. The North Dakota moose hunting season doesn’t open until October.

Game and Fish is asking anyone with information about this poaching case to contact Report All Poacher at 328-9921 or Tofteland at 201-0703. RAP is offering a $2,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction.

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