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Thread: Who Claims the moose?

  1. #1

    Default Who Claims the moose?

    Two hunters are out hunting in the same area. One goes off after a moose and takes a couple shots wounding the animal (gut shot). The second hunter comes across a legal moose a 1/4 mile from the hunter. Not knowing it is the same animal he shoots and drops the animal with one clean shot.

    Who legally should claim should claim this moose?

    Who ethically should be able to claim this moose?

    Is anyone aware of an alaska law or statute that defines this? I'm interested to hear opinions on this.

    Thanks,

    Todd

  2. #2

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    I'm saying the guy that puts it down lays claim to the moose if he so chooses. I'm sure he could give it to hunter #1 if he wants, but if Hunter #2 in possession of a dead moose when hunter #1 arrives on the scene, Hunter #2 is calling the shots.

  3. #3
    Member HuntNBgame's Avatar
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    I have always took it as the hunter with the killing or finishing shot takes claim of the animal.So the second hunter in your case claims the moose.

  4. #4

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    Here's a couple things to think about:

    How long between the shots?

    What if the first hunter had hit him good in both lungs? Moose are big animals, they don't always drop right there with a bullet through the lungs, sometimes they wander off a little bit to expire.

    Hopefully, two good hunters would be able to politely inspect the animal and find the holes, take into account how long ago the first shot had been made and realize that hunter #2 just shot a moose whose lungs were rapidly filling with blood as a result of a kill shot just minutes earlier.

    OR

    The hunter who shot the moose in the stomach because the lungs of a moose weren't a big enough target for him to hit and after hours of tracking admits that he did not make a kill shot and is thankful that the second hunter was there to make a clean kill and end the moose's misery.

  5. #5
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default look at it as a "back-up" shot.

    technically, i think that the first shooter has filled his tag, the analogy that comes to mind is backing up a buddies or clients shot. as long as they have hit it and drawn blood then the animal is theirs, but someone else can back them up or assist in dispatching.
    i say if the first hunter is actively looking for the moose he hit, then it is his.
    i guess this sort of crap happens lots outside where there are thousands of hunters in the pumpkin army, but fortunately it is not yet a common occurrence up here.
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    Look at it this way, I see no difference.

    Two seperate hunters, not knowing each other, one gut shoots a moose, the other shoots
    'his' moose.
    I you are the hunter killing the moose, are you going to give it to the hunter that claims it
    is his because he 'shot' it first??

    I know what I would do.
    And SAY.

  7. #7
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    The man that put it down period. The other needs to go to the range.

  8. #8

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    If I were the second hunter to put the finishing shot into the moose, I would gladly let hunter #1 tag it if he was actively pursuing the wounded moose.

    If he weren't pursuing it and he saw me hauling it out and said he shot it I would say tough dookie, you let it go without a follow up and I killed it so it is mine.

    I've heard horror stories from my elk hunting days in Washington state, where a hunter would shoot and kill and elk, only to find someone else on his elk with their tag on it. Not sure what I would do in a case like that....

  9. #9

    Default Case by case

    I don't think there is a full-proof answer to this one. For me, it would really depend on where the first shots hit and how the other hunter acted. Also take into account where it fell. Hey, if it fell laying in a bog in August (read: bugs!!!) and I really wasn't excited about dealing with it there, the other guy can have it if he wants it. If it fell 20' from my boat or right near the meat hanger, he is going to have to fight me for it...

    For the most part, if the initial shot was not clearly a "kill" shot (i.e. it is not certain whether the animal would have died in a reasonable time from that wound), then I would award the kill to the 2nd shooter. If the first shot was serious enough that either it would have died fairly quickly or at least couldn't travel far because of the hit so the first shooter could have reasonably caught up and dispatched it effectively, then I would probably call it for the first hunter.

  10. #10
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    This is an unfortunate example of real life events...

    Typically- first blood gets the kill, particularly if hunter 1 and 2 are hunting together but I think its good ethics anytime. Maybe not popular but "golden rule" is the way to go.

    I know if I put one down and I find fresh bullet wounds that I didn't put there I'm gonna expect someone to come along shortly and claim it. If they don't then I guess its mine but at the distances you're talking about it would be almost certain. Gunfire sound travels a long ways and at a 1/4mile I'd expect everyone would hear the shots- both the initial and the final.

    Down south where lots of hunter conflicts occur I wouldn't expect this level of courtesy.

  11. #11
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    In my book if someone gut shot the moose they can have it and I will go get another one. I would just as soon not clean a gut shot moose if I can avoid it. Did it once and that was enough to last a life time.

  12. #12
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    I have been the second shooter on a bou. I would have gladly given shooter #1 the animal and walked away!! As it was no one ever came so I ended up punching my tag with a nasty gut shot, lactic acid filled animal. The ethical side of me came out I guess and I just couldn't let it suffer.

    I also had an opportunity to finish an animal I saw a hunter shoot this year. It was a cow taken legally w/ a cow tag. I think the guy lunged her but she ran a good ways. I had motored down the trail a bit and she ran in my direction and paused broadside. I decided to pass on the shot since the other hunters were not in my group. I didn't want to deal them not being happy with the bullet placement and figured the potential conflict wouldn't be worth it. I did let them know where I had seen her and which direction she had headed. It ended well I know because when we came back I saw the meat bags loaded in their truck.

    Sadly in much of the road system and DEFINATELY in bou hunts like the taylor hwy tis scenario is more prevalent than any of us would prefer!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I have been the second shooter on a bou. I would have gladly given shooter #1 the animal and walked away!! As it was no one ever came so I ended up punching my tag with a nasty gut shot, lactic acid filled animal. The ethical side of me came out I guess and I just couldn't let it suffer.

    I also had an opportunity to finish an animal I saw a hunter shoot this year. It was a cow taken legally w/ a cow tag. I think the guy lunged her but she ran a good ways. I had motored down the trail a bit and she ran in my direction and paused broadside. I decided to pass on the shot since the other hunters were not in my group. I didn't want to deal them not being happy with the bullet placement and figured the potential conflict wouldn't be worth it. I did let them know where I had seen her and which direction she had headed. It ended well I know because when we came back I saw the meat bags loaded in their truck.

    Sadly in much of the road system and DEFINATELY in bou hunts like the taylor hwy tis scenario is more prevalent than any of us would prefer!
    Can you legally shoot an animal you don't have a tag for if someone else has shot it first? My guess is you were correct on all counts for not pulling down on the cow if you didn't have a cow tag.

  14. #14
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 257wby View Post
    Can you legally shoot an animal you don't have a tag for if someone else has shot it first? My guess is you were correct on all counts for not pulling down on the cow if you didn't have a cow tag.
    supposing your kid pulls a cow tag, they shoot it and break a leg.
    as long as they hit it, you can back them up with a kill shot. so even though their shot was not fatal and yours was, the cow is theirs because they hit it first.
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    i am sure it says it in a reg some place, but in the hunters/bow safty course it is a question and clearly stated in the manual that the person that draws first blood is the owner of the animal and that said person should make any and all resonable efforts to collect there wonded or downed game. if someone gut shot a critter or shot at a critter and didnt even bother to go and look at the spot or fallow that animal is wrong on meny diffrent levels. but unless someone can tell me otherwise i have to give it to the first shooter, as much as i may hate to do it. i would hope that no one is ever put in that postion where there may be a fight over who hit it first and so on.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    technically, i think that the first shooter has filled his tag, the analogy that comes to mind is backing up a buddies or clients shot. as long as they have hit it and drawn blood then the animal is theirs, but someone else can back them up or assist in dispatching.
    i say if the first hunter is actively looking for the moose he hit, then it is his.
    i guess this sort of crap happens lots outside where there are thousands of hunters in the pumpkin army, but fortunately it is not yet a common occurrence up here.
    I have to agree with you hunting is not just killing its finding the game and making the shot. Things do not always go as planed and if left along and the first hunter had any woods skills he would find the moose for a follow up shot and have his moose.

    Now if if to you hunting is simply killing and claming which is far far to ofton where pumpkin hunters are involved.

    I have had a liver shot buck 10pt cross a river and I watched it go down right on the river bank. It crossed onto privite property so I got permission to retreve it only to find a slide markes where on a -10 degree day some trespasser drag it into the river and floated it some 200 yards down stream and then two more set of tracks helped dag it some 300 yards to a two track and into a vehicle. Had a simular expereance with a very nice 8pt it was hit low in the lungs after jumping it from its bed with out my bow in hand, it took some five seconds to get fully to its feet and bolted away. Then the bottom dropped out of the sky so I waited to after the rain stopped 15 minute later. It died in sight of a tent camp and all I found was a full cup of blood clot and no camp no tent no body. Now who pulls camp in the mist of a down pour and floats deer further down rivers away from closer roads? Killers not hunters and in this case just thieves neither killed the bucks and both knew they were steeling deer not finding a lost buck.

  17. #17
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    Default easy

    whoever dealt the killin blow claims the animal "at the kill site"

  18. #18
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default "Law and the Sportsman"

    There is something in Alaska statute regarding "lawful competitive practices among persons engaged in lawful hunting," but it doesn't define exactly what that is <grin>.

    Seriously though, you guys may find a read of "Law and the Sportsman" good reading. An excerpt that pertains to the question:
    http://www.archive.org/stream/lawand...93mbp_djvu.txt
    The law in all the states is that a wild animal belongs
    to the hunter if he lawfully reduces it to possession. This
    includes wounding it or ensnaring it so as to prevent its
    escape or if the circumstances are such as to make its
    escape impossible or unlikely.

    This means that if you shoot or trap game legally, you
    are the rightful owner. Further, even though the game is
    not actually reduced to physical possession, if you have it
    cornered, it belongs to you although another hunter does
    the actual killing.

    However, if you are merely tracking a wild animal, and
    have been on its trail for a long time and even flushed it
    out into the open, another hunter can step in and kill it and
    thereby acquire a property right in the game. This is true
    unless you have it in a situation where it cannot escape
    or if you have mortally wounded it.

    A gut shot moose is indeed mortally wounded. But we sure lose a lot of moose to that kind of wounding loss each year, that are never found. Sadly, some hunters don't even try to search for animals they may have hit and wounded.

    Beyond the law, what I'd personally do if it were me, would depend upon whether or not the hunter who wounded the animal was going to go look for it or not, or was in the process of doing so.

    The best thing to do in the case of a gut-shot animal imo is to not immediately go after it, because that will just cause it to keep moving rather than lie down and stiffen up. So if a hunter thought he had gut-shot it, perhaps he was waiting to go search, no telling until you talk to that hunter. And if the hunter who first shot and mortally wounded the moose did intend to search for it, and/or was in the process of doing so, then I'd say the meat etc belongs to the hunter who mortally wounded the animal in the first place.

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    Default moose

    If you look back at things historically for deer hunting in the lower 48, I believe that the precedent is that if the person who originally wounded it is still on the track it belongs to him. That doesn't mean that it always worked out that way, though. For sure if the first hunter is not still trailing the animal then he forfeits his rights.

  20. #20
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Default I agree - no clear cut answer

    I pretty much agree with Mark, but I think it's important to note that there may not be a clear cut answer that works in all cases. For myself, I have put the finishing round in wounded ducks before, and I have given them back to the original shooter if they were still around.

    I think we all agree that if the first shooter gives up on the animal, he forfeits any right to its claim. But if he is still in pursuit, keeping in mind that his strategy may be to let it die before approaching (I've done this with wounded ducks as well), I think, for the most part, it's his animal.

    For a trivial wound or flesh wound, this may not hold up. If you shoot a moose and see that a different bullet grazed his ass, I'd say that's your moose. But a moose with a rifle round in its bowels or a busted leg is not going to live long. There's a definite gray area.

    I'm sure it can be difficult to hand an animal over to a hunter that has hit it poorly if you are the one that finished it off. That said, I see it as the right thing to do, both in the eyes of the law and in the realm of ethics.

    Good post - gets you thinking...

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