Orleans man pleads guilty in moose poaching case

in Newport/News/Westmore

NEWPORT — An Orleans man who dragged a cow moose eight miles behind his truck after shooting it in a Westmore hay field, has pleaded guilty to multiple charges.

Authorities say 22-year-old Gerin Fortin was in Orleans Superior Court on June 26 where he pled guilty to taking a moose in closed season and taking a moose by illegal means.

Several other related charges were dismissed.

Fortin admitted shooting a cow moose in September of 2017 in a remote Westmore hay field using the headlights of his truck.

Using his truck, he dragged the moose 8 miles over pavement to the outskirts of Orleans before abandoning the moose to rot.

Fortin was sentenced to serve 60 days on state work crew, plus probation, ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution, ordered to attend alcohol counseling, and he was ordered to forfeit the firearm he used.

Fortin also lost his privilege to hunt, fish and trap for three years in Vermont and all member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

The truck used to drag the moose was repossessed by a lienholder.

Chief Warden Col. Jason Batchelder credits the public’s help in bringing this case to a close.

“Many of the fish and wildlife violation cases investigated by Vermont State Game Wardens come from members of the public who care enough to provide information,” Batchelder said. “You can help by reporting a violation with a phone call to a State Police radio dispatcher, or anonymously by calling the Operation Game Thief phone.”

The toll-free Operation Game Thief line is 1-800-752-5378.

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