September 26, 2020

Maine Police Officer “Unintentionally” Shoots Cow Moose

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According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, Farmington, Maine police sergeant, Edward Hastings, while legally hunting with a shooting partner for moose during the annual moose hunt in Maine, “unintentionally” killed a cow moose and a bull moose. I believe that the intent was to kill only the bull.

Hastings immediately notified authorities, including his boss at the Farmington Police. The Maine Warden Service is charging Hastings with “a rule violation.”

What wasn’t exactly pointed out in the news article is that Hastings, by lottery, had drawn a permit for a bull moose. You can find the results of the moose lottery on the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) website. A screen shot is included below.

hastingsmoosepermit

By rule, the winner of a moose lottery can name a shooting partner. That partner can legally shoot a moose for the permit holder. The news article is not completely clear as to whether or not the shooting partner fired any shots at the moose, only to state that the investigation revealed it supposedly was Hasting’s bullet that killed the cow. It appears the shooting partner was not charged. And, of course, by rule if your permit is for a bull moose, you cannot legally shoot a cow moose.

I’m sure that Mr. Hastings had no “intention” to shoot two moose and one ended up being a cow. From the news report it states:

Hastings and his moose-hunting permit partner shot at a bull moose during the legal season on Oct. 16 in Freeman Township, but when they got to the site where the moose fell, two moose were down — a bull and a cow, Lt. Tim Place of the Maine Warden Service said Thursday.

It is also, by rule, the responsibility of the hunter to be 100% sure of his or her target. Apparently, Hastings and his shooting partner were not 100% sure. The news article also stated:

Hastings’ case was treated the same as those of other violators, Place said.

Failure to identify a target is pretty cut and dry, with no room left for error, when it involves the shooting of a human. Not that a moose and a human are equal in value of life (maybe to some it is) but it will be interesting to see to what extent, if any, failing to identify target will play in this court hearing.

And let’s hope that preferential treatment isn’t extended to Hastings because he is a member of the law enforcement fraternity.

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