Moose Poaching Incident Turns Out A Hoax

Jan 12, 2012

A case of moose poaching in the Upper Peninsula has turned out to be a hoax.

The head of a freshly killed moose was left on a rock beside a road near Ishpeming last October. Next to the moose head was a sign that said "wolfs won't get this one".

State conservation officers investigated a possible illegal killing of the moose, but they found a hunter had legally taken it in Canada. He kept the antlers and meat and left the carcass, including the head, with a butcher in Negaunee.

Brian Roell, a wildlife specialist with the state Department of Natural Resources in Marquette. He says the sign about wolves not getting this one could be a dig at DNR.

Some hunters are upset about the growing wolf population in the U.P. and want to open a hunting season on them. But Roell says the agency has no control over that decision.

"That would actually take legislative action to move towards a harvest season or recreational harvest season on wolves," he says.

A federal wildlife agency removed wolves from the endangered species list in the Western Great Lakes last month. Michigan officially takes over managing them on January 27th.

Roell also says the dig doesn't make a lot of sense, because wolves don't kill moose in the U.P.

"The two species don't really overlap in their range," he says. "Deer being a lot more abundant are going to be the favorable food for these animals." 

Investigators aren't happy that they wasted their time. They're considering a littering charge against the person who left the moose head in a public right of way.