Broomfield teenager to pay nearly $20,000 in fines for unlawful killing of moose

Colorado bull moose (Photo: iStock)

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS, Colo. — A Broomfield teenager will pay nearly $20,000 in fines after pleading guilty to illegally killing and abandoning a bull moose in Grand County last year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said Monday.

Callan Hyatt, 19, pleaded guilty Tuesday to five misdemeanor wildlife violations, including hunting in a careless manner, failing to locate wounded game, failing to dress wildlife, illegal possession of wildlife and hunting without a license.

An extra $10,000 fine was added for the illegal take of a bull moose. Hyatt was also warned for a felony charge of willful destruction of wildlife.

The teenager could also receive up to a five-year suspension of his hunting and fishing privileges in 47 states that are part of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, pending a ruling by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife hearings examiner.

A hunter tipped off CPW a day after the the moose was killed. By then, the animal’s meat had spoiled.

A CPW wildlife officer confronted Hyatt, who admitted that while hunting elk, he saw movement in the trees and fired without properly identifying the target.

Hyatt, who did not have a moose license, did not pursue the wounded animal as required by law, abandoning it instead of tracking it, field-dressing it and reporting the incident.

“We understand hunting mistakes and accidents will happen, but we expect sportsmen and women to take immediate responsibility for their actions,” wildlife officer Jeff Behncke said.

“Thankfully the vast majority of hunters are ethical and do the right thing in cases like this; unfortunately, there are a few that may prefer to try and evade authorities.

“We offer everyone this advice; if you accidentally kill the wrong species, you should call us right away and field dress the animal immediately so that it does not spoil.”

Behncke found footprints in the snow and recovered a .270 caliber bullet from the carcass.

Behncke searched nearby hunting camps. At the second camp, he matched the boots Hyatt was wearing to the prints he saw in the snow. Hyatt also had a .270 caliber rifle in his possession.

“This case represents one of the worst illegal killings and waste of a bull moose in Grand County in recent years,” 14th Judicial Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Dowdell said.

“Those who seek to illegally kill wildlife will be held responsible for wasting this valuable resource of the State of Colorado.”

Behncke is investigating the poaching of two other moose and one bull elk shot and abandoned in Grand County.

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