Vermont State Game Wardens arrested a suspect in a high-profile Northeast Kingdom moose poaching case this weekend. Gerin Fortin, 20, of Irasburg was arrested on Sunday and charged with six counts of big game violations, including taking game by illegal means and in a closed season, and two counts of shooting from a motor vehicle.
Fortin allegedly shot a cow moose from his pickup truck on Saturday, September 23 in Westmore. According to a witness, Fortin then struck it with his truck and shot it again in the head. The moose was killed out of season and at night.
Fortin allegedly chained the moose up to his truck and dragged it more than 11 miles to the town of Orleans, where it was left to rot by the side of the road. The moose was lactating, indicating that she likely had a calf with her.
Vermont's regulated moose hunting seasons are in October, and are limited to a small number of hunting permits that are allocated through a lottery system. Fortin did not possess a moose hunting permit.
Fortin's Ford F150 pickup truck was seized as evidence, along with his rifle, ammunition and truck chains. These items stand to be forfeited upon conviction.
Fortin is due in Orleans County Superior Court on December 26, 2017. He faces fines and restitution of up to $8,000 and up to one year in jail.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking anyone with information about any poaching activity to call their local warden through their nearest state police dispatch, or they may leave an anonymous tip to Operation Game Thief at 1-800-75ALERT (1-800-752-5378).
Media Contacts: Col. Jason Batchelder, 802-828-1483; Sgt. Trevor Szymanowski, 802-751-0103