Wyoming Man Fined for Moose Poaching

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A tip from a concerned citizen has led to the arrest and subsequent conviction of a Laramie Wyoming man who illegally killed a moose a short distance from Laramie.

On Feb. 16, north Laramie game warden Roger Bredehoft received a report from a concerned citizen that a moose had been poached near the Summit Rest Area east of Laramie. The citizen reporting the incident said a conversation had been overheard that led to the belief that Samir Yousef had killed a moose just off Happy Jack Road. The person providing the information also provided a description of Yousef's vehicle and said that Yousef was a student at Wyoming Technical Institute and would be returning that night to the site of the poaching incident.

Following the report, Bredehoft went to the area to look for the moose and encountered Yousef driving along a U.S. Forest Service road. Bredehoft stopped the vehicle and inquired if he had been hunting and received a reply that he had not. Bredehoft then asked and received permission to search the vehicle and found no evidence of any poaching or any firearms. Since he had no evidence that a poaching had occurred, Bredehoft let Yousef go and continued down the Forest Service road. A short distance later, Bredehoft found a fresh trail with human and moose tracks going off the road into a thick patch of willows where he found a dead moose. The moose was an adult bull that had already shed its antlers. None of the meat had been removed.

With assistance from the Albany County Sheriff's Office, Bredehoft located Yousef's apartment where he questioned Yousef concerning the incident. Yousef initially denied shooting the moose, but then admitted to encountering a moose that was walking down the road, getting out of his vehicle, following it and then shooting twice at it as it was going through the willows. He said this occurred on Feb.15, but he did not realize he had hit and killed the moose until the next day. He returned on Feb. 16 and decided to take some of the meat but became frightened and left.

Yousef was cited for taking a moose out of season and waste of a big game animal. Although the moose was an adult bull, it had already shed its antlers so Yousef did not shoot the moose to secure a trophy. In Albany County Court, Yousef was fined $780 for taking a moose out of season, $440 for waste of a big game animal and an additional $7,500 for the loss of the moose to the State of Wyoming, for a total of more than $8,700 in fines and restitution. Yousef also lost all hunting privileges for four years.

The moose was in area 38 which is one of the top trophy areas in Wyoming and is among the toughest drawing odds for a license of any moose area in the state. In 2008, there were 1,654 applicants in the random draw for Area 38 for three resident licenses. An additional nine licenses were available in the preference point draw with 66 applicants having the maximum 13 preference points for less than a 14 percent chance in the draw. For those with less than maximum points, the drawing odds in 2008 were less than one fourth of one percent.

As with a number of poaching incidents, this case was solved through the help of a concerned citizen. Anyone with information on wildlife violations can contact their local game warden or Game and Fish regional office or call the stop Poaching Hotline at (877) WGFD-TIP (943-3847). Calls are kept confidential and a cash reward may be rewarded with the successful arrest of wildlife violators.