The Maine Warden Service issued a total of 42 summonses to seven men from western Maine for alleged hunting and theft violations that resulted from a more than year-long investigation of their activities.
The Maine Warden Service’s Wildlife Crimes Investigation Division initiated the special investigation early last year after it received numerous complaints from the public, hunters and law enforcement about alleged poaching activities they witnessed regarding one of the men.
In January, after months of investigation, WCID served four search warrants on five of the men's residences, and Oxford County Assistant District Attorney Joe O'Connor was consulted on evidence that was collected during the full investigation. Court appearances tentatively are in April.
The summonses include night hunting, killing multiple deer, hunting turkey during closed season, possession of stolen fur, possession of stolen traps, and theft of traps.
"What these men did through their actions is insult the law-abiding hunters of this state who respect the regulations that are in place to manage Maine's wildlife population," said Acting Colonel Gregg Sanborn. "We appreciate the public's input in helping us stop this activity."
Kyle A. Morgan, 20, of 142 Hill Street, South Paris, was issued 21 summonses all of which are Class D misdemeanors according to Title 12 of the State of Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife laws. If found in violation of the law, the court could impose a sentence of at least three days in jail for the first offense and not less than 10 days for each succeeding offense, and impose a fine of not less than $1,000 for each violation. Mr. Morgan would automatically lose his state hunting license if he's found guilty.
The summonses issued to Mr. Morgan for alleged activity between Oct. 11 and Nov. 25, 2007 are: six counts of night hunting; four counts of night hunting that resulted in the killing of deer; two counts of night hunting that resulted in the wounding of deer; two counts of hunting deer after having killed one; three counts of hunting turkey during closed season; one count of exceeding the limit in the killing of deer; one count of theft and the possession of stolen fur; one count of theft and the possession of stolen traps; and one count of theft of traps.
The other men who were issued summonses – and the alleged violations -- are:
Maine's 2007 hunting season with firearms was Oct. 29 to Nov. 24. According to state law, night hunting is not permissible from a half-hour after sunset until a half-hour before sunrise, and only one deer may be harvested annually.