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Old 10-30-2014, 11:33 AM   #1
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Default Moose poacher arrested

MOOSE POACHER ARRESTED AND CHARGED AFTER ANONYMOUS OPERATION GAME THIEF TIP

Wolfeboro, N.H. -- NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers became aware of an illegally killed moose in Wolfeboro, N.H., through an anonymous Operation Game Thief tip on Saturday, October 25th, 2014. An investigation on Sunday, October 26th, 2014 by Conservation Officers and Wolfeboro Police located a 40-gallon tub filled with fresh moose meat at the residence of Barry Caswell of York Road in Wolfeboro. The carcass of a young cow moose was also unearthed on the property, having been buried three feet in the ground and covered by a six-foot brush pile. Caswell admitted to poaching the moose on his property and using his excavator to bury the remains. He has been arrested and charged with a Class B misdemeanor for the taking of a moose out of season as well as paying a $1,000 restitution to the state.
This incident highlights how anyone can help Conservation Officers protect the wildlife and natural resources of New Hampshire. Conservation Officers want to remind the public to report any suspicious wildlife-related activity to the Operation Game Thief program. Information can be left anonymously 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year by phone at 1-800-344-4262 or by visiting the Operation Game Thief website at wildnh.com/OGT/ .
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:46 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting. I know him.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:58 AM   #3
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Good....Glad they got him.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:42 AM   #4
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I don't condone or approve of poaching but I have a hard time wrapping my brain around the argument that the state can control what you hunt and don't hunt on your own property. I approve of laws that would disallow baiting, particularly on your own land to "draw" animals to your land, but can someone help me understand how this law can be justified?
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:01 AM   #5
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Pineedles -- I am having the same "scratch my head in Awe" kind of moment

Although Apples to Oranges -- the only thing I can equate it to is Geese !

They wonder up and destroy my lawn, are by all agreement a filthy varmint, yet I can't take a shot at one!



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Old 10-31-2014, 08:38 AM   #6
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Animal control can't be left up to the property owner. If everyone could hunt on their own property and shoot whatever they wanted, there wouldn't be any animals left.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:55 AM   #7
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Common law from way back says wild animals belong to the state. So they can require a license for you to take them.

I guess you could build a moose farm on your land, fence it off and populate it with legally obtained moose, maybe even breed them. Then you could say they were yours otherwise they belong to the state.

The other troubling for Mister Caswell beyond his legal issues, he has someone he trusted to tell about his deed, that he should not have.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:11 AM   #8
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Default This is the exact reason!!!

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Animal control can't be left up to the property owner. If everyone could hunt on their own property and shoot whatever they wanted, there wouldn't be any animals left.
Consider this.

Most of the land is owned by private land owners, this includes corporations, not the state. If all land owners had the right to kill what ever animal is on their land, just how long would the moose/deer/whatever exist in the state.

Many years ago when you didn't require a license to hunt and the animals were not protected by laws of hunting season, sex (can't shoot does ) without a special permit you could walk all day and not cross their tracks. Then the state and hunters came together and put in the hunting laws. The population of critters has come back to levels not seen since the 1600's.

Without the laws you would not have game animals.


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Old 10-31-2014, 09:18 AM   #9
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I don't know. How many people would want to shoot animals on their own land? I know I wouldn't. (Except the geese that I hate. And I really wouldn't shoot them either much as I might want to.) I bet a lot of others wouldn't either. Of course there are a lot that would. My bet is though, is that if only landowners could shoot on their own property, the population would not be low.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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Default property rights

Nice replies! I think a lot of people confuse the meaning private property rights. My understanding is that the constitution gives citizens the right to protect their property from damage, theft, and government appropriation without just compensation. It does not mean that you have the right to do whatever you want on your private property.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:59 PM   #11
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Thanks all for your contributions. Moose farm? OK, I'm good with that. Game belongs to the state? Insert the Sheriff of Nottingham or King instead of state and its the same thing. Maybe its the libertarian in me. Also, not sure if all the game being killed scenario would play out as it did in the past. Things are a lot different than in the past. Many more supermarkets today. There could still be rules about shooting within a certain distance from a building, minimum acreage for rifle, etc.

I see Mr. Caswell is 71 years old and probably on a fixed income, hope he didn't need the meat to survive.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pineedles
I see Mr. Caswell is 71 years old and probably on a fixed income, hope he didn't need the meat to survive.
That was my thought too. York rd is a rural and not terribly wealthy area. My guess is he was stocking the fridge for a long winter.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:26 PM   #13
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Mr. Caswell has @ 160 acres of wooded land.

Need I say anymore.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:38 PM   #14
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Mr. Caswell has @ 160 acres of wooded land.

Need I say anymore.
Which is all probably under current use and which he was trying to sell. He doesn't have good luck. His trailer there burned last year-I think it was last year.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:45 PM   #15
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Which is all probably under current use and which he was trying to sell.
What does "under current use" mean? It's all wooded land without any houses on it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:18 PM   #16
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What does "under current use" mean? It's all wooded land without any houses on it.

If you have more than 10A of undeveloped land, say forested or farm land fields, you can apply to have the land taxed based on the "current use value". The current use value of the land would be much less for forest land than say highest and best use like a sub-division.

This results in much lower taxes and is to encourage the preservation of forest and farm land. If and when the land is developed then a "land use change tax" penalty must be paid, 10% of the developed land (house lots) value. This tax revenue can in turn (local town option) go into a conservation fund to help preserve other undeveloped land.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:35 PM   #17
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Thank you Slick for explaining to Rusty.
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Old 10-31-2014, 05:35 PM   #18
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Thanks for the explanation Slickcraft .
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Mr. Caswell has @ 160 acres of wooded land.

Need I say anymore.
Rusty:

I don't condone what Mr. Caswell did but my educated guess is he doesn't have a lot of money and he shot the moose to eat. The area where he has land isn't that desirable but 160 acres is 160 acres so who knows what the value totals. In any event, he has paid the price as his reputation is permanently marred and he is out $1,000 bucks. He probably should invest in a silencer for his gun and a zipper for his mouth. Not a good week for the moose or Mr. Caswell!
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:16 AM   #20
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Thanks all for your contributions. Moose farm? OK, I'm good with that. Game belongs to the state? Insert the Sheriff of Nottingham or King instead of state and its the same thing. Maybe its the libertarian in me. Also, not sure if all the game being killed scenario would play out as it did in the past. Things are a lot different than in the past. Many more supermarkets today. There could still be rules about shooting within a certain distance from a building, minimum acreage for rifle, etc.

I see Mr. Caswell is 71 years old and probably on a fixed income, hope he didn't need the meat to survive.
They can't tell you you can't shoot an animal on YOUR land but they can tell you you can't shoot a gun next to YOUR house on YOUR land???

Seems to me that to a "libertarian" that would be big Government intruding on YOUR rights to do what you want on YOUR property.


Just a question.


ToW
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:19 AM   #21
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They can't tell you you can't shoot an animal on YOUR land but they can tell you you can't shoot a gun next to YOUR house on YOUR land???

Seems to me that to a "libertarian" that would be big Government intruding on YOUR rights to do what you want on YOUR property.


Just a question.


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Notice I wrote libertarian with a small case L. It is a safety issue and there are rules for occupied and unoccupied buildings. In your example I would oppose the rule that does not let someone shoot a gun near THEIR buildings, but would support the rule if other buildings were involved off their property.
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:22 AM   #22
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The guy was obviously on hard times. If he shot the moose for sport, I would agree that it was wrong, but, jeez...cut the guy a break. He was trying to put food on the table.
Shame on the person that reported him and shame on fish and game for not looking the other way on this one.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:36 AM   #23
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Things like this keep reminding me of the day when people shot animals to live, they didn't go to the grocery store. What a change in this country in a relatively short time huh? What would those people think if they saw our grocery stores today?
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAMIAM View Post
The guy was obviously on hard times. If he shot the moose for sport, I would agree that it was wrong, but, jeez...cut the guy a break. He was trying to put food on the table.
Shame on the person that reported him and shame on fish and game for not looking the other way on this one.
What if he went into a restaurant late one evening and stole all the food that was in the refrig and anything else he could get his hands on. He did it because he was just trying to put food on his table. Right!
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:24 AM   #25
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Really Rusty? This is an apples to oranges comparison. I guess common sense doesn't prevail.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:16 AM   #26
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Really Rusty? This is an apples to oranges comparison. I guess common sense doesn't prevail.
What do other members on this forum know about this person that I should know?

Is he down to his last penny and needed the meat so he could stay alive?

I don't know the guy other then he has a $$$lot of land$$$ and used an $$$excavator$$$$ to move the Moose around.

I'm wiling to give anyone help if they will ask for it or really need it. But if they break the law before asking then they are on their own.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:17 AM   #27
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Without taking sides on the poaching issue I'd like to share a thought with the posters here.

I spent my career in a business that carried on a constant war to keep employee theft to a minimum. Throughout the years, management systems and technologies were honed to keep the thieves at bay.

One day as a colleague and I were discussing this challenge, he asked "why do these people keep stealing?"

Without thought I blurted out:

"It's easy to be good when it's easy to be good."

Having always had warm shelter, food and clothing, one might assume that stealing is something one would never do.

That might change if circumstances dictate.

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Old 11-03-2014, 10:22 AM   #28
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What do other members on this forum know about this person that I should know?

Is he down to his last penny and needed the meat so he could stay alive?

I don't know the guy other then he has a $$$lot of land$$$ and used an $$$excavator$$$$ to move the Moose around.

I'm wiling to give anyone help if they will ask for it or really need it. But if they break the law before asking then they are on their own.
If he is down on his luck he can go get food stamps and food at the local food pantry.

He broke the law plain and simple. Now he'll pay the consequences.

ToW
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:56 PM   #29
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Default Moose poacher

Now I'm really confused. How did this guy go from being a poacher to a down and out honest fellow who had to shoot the moose to survive?
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:26 PM   #30
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Now I'm really confused. How did this guy go from being a poacher to a down and out honest fellow who had to shoot the moose to survive?
Mr. Caswell is now 72 years old; he must have had a birthday last week. His 122 acres has a value of $225,000, which looks like it was on the market for $250K but didn't sell. Some people believe that he needed the meat to eat. I do not know him personally, but others may. My question involved the right of the state to arrest him for his crime. If he is indeed in need of help, then there are programs to help. However, he may be a proud soul and is used to fending for himself. I don't think he should be deified, nor crucified. People obviously have different opinions on this.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:14 PM   #31
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There are a lot of comments in the posts both in favor and against this gentleman. All the posts except one are speculative with many "maybe's" "I believe's" "if's" and so on.
The only factual post is the first one. There are laws to protect wildlife. This man broke the law, was caught doing so and must now face the consequences.
Rich, poor, democrat, republican, old, young, whatever....the laws apply to all of us equally. I do have some empathy for him if indeed he was truly in need of the meat from this kill to feed himself and his family. If that is the case, perhaps the judge will show some leniency and forgive at least some of the fine.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:44 PM   #32
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On the New Hampshire Operation Game Thief facebook page they posted the head of the Moose that the poacher buried.

I would have to be pretty down and out to do this to an animal.

I posted the picture but it was too graphic for some people and I apologize.

Here is the facebook address that I got it from...you must have a facebook account to open it up:
https://www.facebook.com/NewHampshireOperationGameThief
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:14 PM   #33
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Default is it really necessary???

Is it really necessary to post the dead moose head? REALLY?

After having just finished a nice snack I hopped on this site and when I opened this thread I had this gross picture on all 23" of my screen. Snack is not sitting very well right now!

Maybe post a link with a warning "graphic photos" next time...
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Old 11-03-2014, 06:36 PM   #34
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Thank you Rusty!
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:02 PM   #35
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Quote:
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There are a lot of comments in the posts both in favor and against this gentleman. All the posts except one are speculative with many "maybe's" "I believe's" "if's" and so on.
The only factual post is the first one. There are laws to protect wildlife. This man broke the law, was caught doing so and must now face the consequences.
Rich, poor, democrat, republican, old, young, whatever....the laws apply to all of us equally. I do have some empathy for him if indeed he was truly in need of the meat from this kill to feed himself and his family. If that is the case, perhaps the judge will show some leniency and forgive at least some of the fine.
A very good summary. I think most of us agree with your line of reasoning. My only point was sometimes folks are up against it and they do things they shouldn't.
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:09 PM   #36
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On the New Hampshire Operation Game Thief facebook page they posted the head of the Moose that the poacher buried.

I would have to be pretty down and out to do this to an animal.

I posted the picture but it was too graphic for some people and I apologize.

Here is the facebook address that I got it from...you must have a facebook account to open it up:
https://www.facebook.com/NewHampshireOperationGameThief
Rusty:

Do you eat meat? Have you ever been to a slaughter house? I'm fairly certain your answers to these questions are yes and no, in that order. So if you think about it, you indirectly did something last week, and the week before that, and the week before that, to animals that was quite similar to what happened to Mr. Caswell's moose. However, you didn't see it so you think it didn't happen, but it did.

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Old 11-03-2014, 07:23 PM   #37
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OK, you guys win...Mr. Caswell needed the meat and that's the end of the story.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:33 PM   #38
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OK, you guys win...Mr. Caswell needed the meat and that's the end of the story.
Are you declaring the thread closed Rusty?
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:38 PM   #39
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The guy was obviously on hard times. If he shot the moose for sport, I would agree that it was wrong, but, jeez...cut the guy a break. He was trying to put food on the table.
Shame on the person that reported him and shame on fish and game for not looking the other way on this one.
Cut a break for this guy but not for the person who comes up to their summer place from Mass on weekends?? Not a very good way of enforcing the law. Hey I feel for the guy to but we can't just be running around shooting what we want when we want.
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:47 PM   #40
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Cut a break for this guy but not for the person who comes up to their summer place from Mass on weekends?? Not a very good way of enforcing the law. Hey I feel for the guy to but we can't just be running around shooting what we want when we want.
Tell that to the property owner in Merrimack that killed 3 dogs a few weeks ago and was never charged.

I suppose the shooter should have said the moose attacked his livestock and then buried it! He can defend his livestock according to law
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:37 PM   #41
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I'm not a hunter or familiar with NH hunting laws but if he was hungry and he own 122 acres, isn't there legal game he could take?

I have a few acres down here in Hollis and you can't throw a stick without hitting a turkey or squirrel.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:25 PM   #42
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I'm not a hunter or familiar with NH hunting laws but if he was hungry and he own 122 acres, isn't there legal game he could take?

I have a few acres down here in Hollis and you can't throw a stick without hitting a turkey or squirrel.
You'd be surprised how game does a "disappearing-act" when you begin hunting.

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Old 11-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #43
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They can't tell you you can't shoot an animal on YOUR land but they can tell you you can't shoot a gun next to YOUR house on YOUR land???
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Per state law (RSAs 207:3-a, 207:3-c, and 644:13), you may not shoot across or within 15 feet of a road, or “within 300 feet of a permanently occupied dwelling without permission of the owner or the occupant of the dwelling or from the owner of the land on which the person discharging the firearm or shooting the bow and arrow is situated.”

I see no problem shooting a firearm next to his house unless his neighbors are closer than 300 ft.
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:24 PM   #44
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Tell that to the property owner in Merrimack that killed 3 dogs a few weeks ago and was never charged.

I suppose the shooter should have said the moose attacked his livestock and then buried it! He can defend his livestock according to law
I'm not sure what some slime ball that kills three dogs has to do with this? I can't make the connection, I didn't hear about that.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:21 PM   #45
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I'm not sure what some slime ball that kills three dogs has to do with this? I can't make the connection, I didn't hear about that.
All I'm trying to say is the laws aren't consistent. If Mr Caswell stated he shot the animal (moose) b/c it attacked his livestock he would have been clear of any charges.

Did he get to keep the meat?
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:36 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by SIKSUKR View Post
Per state law (RSAs 207:3-a, 207:3-c, and 644:13), you may not shoot across or within 15 feet of a road, or “within 300 feet of a permanently occupied dwelling without permission of the owner or the occupant of the dwelling or from the owner of the land on which the person discharging the firearm or shooting the bow and arrow is situated.”

I see no problem shooting a firearm next to his house unless his neighbors are closer than 300 ft.
Yup I knew that. I was being "sarcastic" about a libertarian (with a small L) saying the state shouldn't be able to tell you you can't shoot an animal on your property but can tell you you can't shoot a gun on your property.

Your sarcasm meter might need a recalibration.

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