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Thread: Wounded moose into river question

  1. #1
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    Default Wounded moose into river question

    I have a rhetorical question for the group. Let's say a hunter takes a shot that knocks down a moose, but it wasn't a good shot and it was a little high and broke the spine, or gut shot it or similar. Definitely a shot that mortally wounded the animal, but the moose is able to limp into a slow flowing deep river, and start swimming. At this point is the animal "taken" as per regulations?

    Would the hunter then be allowed to use a boat or other means to try get the dying moose to the shore to keep it from dying in the river? If the animal is considered "taken" is it now recovery mode? What if the hunter is able to get the moose to swim back to shore and fires a finishing shot? Is that the point of "take".

    Just curious as to what the group thinks as the regs aren't very clear on it for me to interpret.

    The Regs:
    take - taking, pursuing, hunting, fishing,
    trapping, or in any manner disturbing,
    capturing, or killing or attempting to take,
    pursue, hunt, fish, trap, or in any manner
    capture or kill fish or game.

    You MAY NOT take game by:
    Driving, herding, harassing, or molesting game with any
    motorized vehicle such as an aircraft, airboat, snowmachine,
    motor-driven boat, etc.

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    "Take" is a broad term in the regs, and you're not the only one that has trouble understanding it. But in the above scenario, you've definitely taken the moose. The regs are clear in that "A person who has wounded game shouldmake every legal effort to retrieve and salvage that game." It used to say "practical" until a few years ago when an adfg bio broke a couple laws trying to track a wounded moose. in your scenario, i don't think it would be legal to haze the animal onto the river bank, but it would probably be the ethical thing to do. I think the expectation thereafter would be that you salvage the animal and turn it over to the troopers.

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    This happened my second year in AK. Buddie wounded a bull and we chased it thru the woods. We finally saw it as it jumped in the river and if it made it across it might be gone. He was out of shells. So I shot it in the back of the head from about 60 yards with my .44 and anchored it. We then had to go back to the boat and find it in the river. It wasn't fun processing it in the river but sometimes you do what you have too.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    I have a rhetorical idea for you:


    Take your existing 30-06:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=#post1645621

    Send it to this guy a $220 check ( gun and check sent regular priority mail):

    http://www.35caliber.com/2.html

    One week later, receive it back as a 338-06, 35 whelen or 9.3x62 mauser.

    Load up some nosler paritions or a-frames that weigh from 250 grains-300 grains.

    Knock out the entire front end of your next moose, and anchor him on or near the river bank.

    Then........never deal with the theoretical wounded moose swimming down river again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I have a rhetorical idea for you:


    Take your existing 30-06:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...t=#post1645621

    Send it to this guy a $220 check ( gun and check sent regular priority mail):

    http://www.35caliber.com/2.html

    One week later, receive it back as a 338-06, 35 whelen or 9.3x62 mauser.

    Load up some nosler paritions or a-frames that weigh from 250 grains-300 grains.

    Knock out the entire front end of your next moose, and anchor him on or near the river bank.

    Then........never deal with the theoretical wounded moose swimming down river again.

    That's a pretty cool idea, thanks I hadn't heard of that. But as I dream about hunting, while stuck inside, me and a buddy had this debate and just wanted to see what the group thought on this topic. In my mind, the animal was taken when it was mortally wounded, and therefore using a boat to get it to swim back to shore while harassment, not illegal since it was already "taken".

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2thak View Post
    I have a rhetorical question for the group. Let's say a hunter takes a shot that knocks down a moose, but it wasn't a good shot and it was a little high and broke the spine, or gut shot it or similar. Definitely a shot that mortally wounded the animal, but the moose is able to limp into a slow flowing deep river, and start swimming. At this point is the animal "taken" as per regulations?

    Would the hunter then be allowed to use a boat or other means to try get the dying moose to the shore to keep it from dying in the river? If the animal is considered "taken" is it now recovery mode? What if the hunter is able to get the moose to swim back to shore and fires a finishing shot? Is that the point of "take".

    Just curious as to what the group thinks as the regs aren't very clear on it for me to interpret.

    The Regs:
    take - taking, pursuing, hunting, fishing,
    trapping, or in any manner disturbing,
    capturing, or killing or attempting to take,
    pursue, hunt, fish, trap, or in any manner
    capture or kill fish or game.

    You MAY NOT take game by:
    Driving, herding, harassing, or molesting game with any
    motorized vehicle such as an aircraft, airboat, snowmachine,
    motor-driven boat, etc.
    We all know that the wording in the reg's can be confusing and sometimes, downright ridiculous. But for this "scenario", I would say that the method of "take" has been established.
    Responsible and legal "recovery" would be where you're at in this scenario, I would think anyways.
    You can use a boat too recover an animal that's been taken, you just can't haze-herd-molest-etc them with one, prior to the shooting..
    Just like with an atv, snow machine, etc...
    I would read it as if the animal is bleeding profusely and appears too be mortally wounded then does the ol' death run into water, then yes, go recover it with whatever legal means that you have. While you're in the water and said animal hasn't expired yet, then for some crazy reason it heads back to shore because you're in the water too, is that now "herding" or "molesting" because it's technically still alive???
    Hmmmm, I'd be asking this scenario too a fish cop or ADF&G rep and get their advice...
    It's a legit question...

  7. #7

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    I agree with swampdonkey and I believe this is one of those scenarios that you could more than likely ask 5 different wildlife troopers and you would get 5 different answers/opinions. But I know if it was me, I would do the moral and ethical thing by doing whatever was necessary to retrieve the wounded animal. I know I have had to do similar things in the past and I just do whatever needs to be done and then keep my mouth shut about it. But that's just me and I've never been known to be politically correct.

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    A buddy hit a bull with archery equipment. Tracked it till dark, then got the flashlights and tracked some more. Down close to Daniels Lake. Next morning went after it again. Trail gave out. 3 hours later I am sitting on the side of a small hill overlooking the cove where we had lost the sign. I used my binoculars to look at every bush, trail, stump....everything. I had already covered this ground on foot. Then when looking across the cove for where a moose might have come out of the water, I spotted something brown out in the lillypads. It was the rib cage of our bull above the waterline. Not much to see. Just a hump of brown. He had started across the cove and keeled over in the middle. Lucky to find him, but we hadn't given up. Borrowed a boat and hung a line on him, then used my wheeler to yard him up into a ladies lawn. Guts and all. Took it to a back road to gut. Would have been easy to give up and lose that bull.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  9. #9

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    Once an animal is mortally wounded, it is incumbent on us all to do everything possible to recover that animal. I would hope (wishful thinking, maybe) that a trooper would understand that and overlook any efforts which might fall into a legal gray area.

    Another scenario (not hypothetical): I managed to shoot the antler off a 50+ inch bull moose. Blew it off cleanly just below the brow palm. The moose went down like it was brain-shot, but when we got to where it had been, no moose, but a nice large antler. We searched and found no blood and didn't see the moose again. If we had seen the moose later, would it be legal to shoot it? We had the piece of antler to show it was once 50+ inches. Or was it now a spike with one point on one side? My buddies and I had some lively discussions about it.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    I wouldn't ask anyone this question. Once you wound an animal you do what you have to to recover it. Approaching a wounded animal in a river with a boat isn't "hazing". It is RECOVERING.
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    if you shoot it and the trooper is watching you he should see the animal get shot and go into the water. He should know what happened and i wouldnt think he would have any issue with it. If you shoot it and runs a ways to a lake and then a trooper sees you go out and shoot it to recover it i would think there should be 2 bullet holes in it and i believe that should clear up any issues the trooper had with the action. This is all based on the trooper actually witnessing you shoot the moose out of the boat. If they dont see you do that i am not sure they would have any proof that you actually shot it in the lake and you were just recovering it.
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    There have been times when I wished it was legal to use a handgun to cap a downed animal that was previously hit with archery equipment. I have drilled a few bull moose right in the forehead with an arrow to finish them off. It's not as easy a plugging them in the head with a .44
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  13. #13

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    I think this "what if" is the exact defense used by archery hunters near Jim lake a few years ago. Stuck a small bull then used an airboat to get it back near solid ground, was quite a long effort (chase) to get it to turn around. I think they lost the right to hunt for a year.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Thats incorrect on the outcome with the jim lake ordeal. Its the exact scenario you brought up and it cost all of them thousands of dollars to defend themselves. It took years in court to clear up. Their gear and boat sat in impound. The troopers wanted the boat very badly and made attempts to clear everything, if he would give up the boat to the state. It didnít happen.
    Very bad for all involved except the whistle blower who was wrong in the first place.
    Another case of guilty until you can prove otherwise.
    Only the lawyers won on this deal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by martentrapper View Post
    I wouldn't ask anyone this question. Once you wound an animal you do what you have to to recover it. Approaching a wounded animal in a river with a boat isn't "hazing". It is RECOVERING.
    This is kind of my thought. My argument is what is the best/most ethical thing to do? My thought would be get the animal to shore before it dies and potentially sinks to be swept away by the river. Other option leave it until it dies and may or may not be recoverable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkmail View Post
    Thats incorrect on the outcome with the jim lake ordeal. Its the exact scenario you brought up and it cost all of them thousands of dollars to defend themselves. It took years in court to clear up. Their gear and boat sat in impound. The troopers wanted the boat very badly and made attempts to clear everything, if he would give up the boat to the state. It didnít happen.
    Very bad for all involved except the whistle blower who was wrong in the first place.
    Another case of guilty until you can prove otherwise.
    Only the lawyers won on this deal.
    Bk
    This is the arguing side of it we have gotten into. So risk this outcome by doing what you feel is right to recover the animal, or leave it until it maybe dies in the river?

    Anyways this is the kind of stuff I like to discuss around a campfire for arguments sake.

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