A Broomfield man is facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines after he illegally killed and abandoned a bull moose in Grand County in November, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
CPW said Callan Hyatt, 19, pled guilty April 9 to five misdemeanor wildlife violations: hunting in a careless manner, failing to locate wounded game, failing to dress wildlife, illegal possession of wildlife, and hunting without a license.
Hyatt faces nearly $20,000 in fines, including a $10,000 fine for illegally taking a bull moose. Pending a decision by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife hearings examiner, Hyatt could receive up to a five-year suspension of his hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and the 46 other Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact states.
CPW said Hyatt admitted that while hunting elk, he saw movement in the trees and fired his rifle without properly identifying the target, wounding the moose. Rather than tracking the moose, field-dressing it, and reporting the incident, Hyatt abandoned it, according to CPW.
CPW said another hunter found the moose the next day and called it in to CPW. By that time, its meat had spoiled.
Officers recovered a .270 caliber bullet from the moose carcass, according to CPW. When they spotted footprints in the snow, they checked nearby hunting campus until they found Hyatt, whose boots matched the prints.
“A legal, bull moose hunter waits a minimum of four years to draw a license,” CPW said in a statement. “In fact, many hunters never draw a license in their lifetime because of the very limited license allocations. This act essentially stole that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from a legal hunter.”
CPW said if a hunter accidentally kills the wrong species, they should call CPW right away, and field dress the animal immediately so it does not spoil.
“Doing the right thing can be the difference between a simple $70.50 fine, or a $20,000 citation, felony charges and the loss of hunting and fishing privileges,” CPW said in the statement.
Wildlife crimes can also be reported anonymously by calling Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648.