CO Brad Morse: 603-271-3361 
Lt. James Goss: 603-744-5470
Jane Vachon: 603-271-3211
January 26, 2009                       

Two Moultonborough Men Convicted of Illegally Taking a Moose

CONCORD, N.H. -- Two Lakes Region men, Joseph Townsend, age 21, and Richard McNeil, age 25, both of Moultonborough, were convicted January 21, 2009, in Southern Carroll County District Court for illegally harvesting a moose last October in Sandwich.  

On November 10, 2008, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Law Enforcement learned about the incident through a confidential informant. The afternoon of October 21, 2008, Townsend and McNeil had left work and, while traveling on Route 113A in Sandwich, saw a moose in the area of a power line cut shortly after 3 p.m.  The men had a rifle, but were not experienced hunters and neither had a hunting license.  They pulled over and Townsend left the vehicle and walked about 200 yards down the power line and shot the moose twice, killing it. The two men left the site, but returned late that night, when they proceeded to cut the moose into quarters and transported it home to be butchered. 

On November 11, 2008, Conservation Officers Brad Morse, Mark Hensel and Lt. James Goss began investigating the complaint.  During the investigation, the officers confiscated a large quantity of moose meat and obtained confessions from various individuals.  Townsend was charged with Hunting Without a License and Taking a Moose Without First Obtaining a Valid License.  McNeil was charged with Taking (Assisted Joseph Townsend) a Moose Without Obtaining a Valid License. 

On January 22, 2009, Townsend and McNeil pled guilty on a variety of charges in Southern Carroll County District Court.  McNeil was ordered to pay fines totaling $1,200.  Townsend was fined $180 for Hunting Without a License and  $1,200 for Taking Without a License; in addition, he was ordered to pay $1,000 restitution to the N.H. Fish and Game Department. 

"Moose and other wildlife are a valuable resource for New Hampshire, and hunting is a carefully regulated activity," said Morse.  "If you want to hunt, do it the right way -- take hunter education and get a license."

Moose hunting in New Hampshire is available by permit only. A total of 515 moose licenses are issued through a lottery system. Those who win the opportunity to purchase a moose license must also obtain a regular New Hampshire hunting license in order to hunt moose in a specified Wildlife Management Unit during the nine-day season in October.

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