NH FISH AND GAME INVESTIGATES LOON SHOOTING

by Christian Mower on September 4, 2012

NEW HAMPSHIRE FISH AND GAME OFFICERS ARE ASKING FOR THE PUBLIC’S HELP IN SOLVING A CASE OF A LOON SHOOTING THAT ENDED WITH THE BIRD BEING EUTHANIZED IN BRIDGTON, MAINE AFTER IT WAS TAKEN TO A WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR.

CONSERVATION OFFICER CHRISTOPHER EGAN SAYS A LOON ON BLACK LAKE IN PITTSBURG, NEW HAMPSHIRE WAS REPORTED TO BE IN DISTRESS IN LATE AUGUST AND WAS PICKED UP BY A WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST.

X-RAYS OF THE BIRD SHOWED IT HAD DOZENS OF SHOTGUN PELLETS IN ITS BODY AND NUMEROUS PIECES OF FISHING TACKLE IN ITS GIZZARD.

WITH A POOR PROGNOSIS FOR RECOVERY, THE BIRD WAS TAKEN TO BRIDGTON, WHERE THE DECISION WAS MADE A FEW DAYS LATER TO PUT IT DOWN.

EGAN – WHO PATROLS THE PITTSBURG AREA – SAYS THE CASE INVOLVES “SOMEONE’S BLATANT DISREGARD FOR LAWS GOVERNING PROTECTED BIRDS.”

HE SAYS LOONS ARE SYMBOLIC OF THE NORTH COUNTRY AND MAJOR ATTRACTIONS FOR RESIDENTS AND VISITORS TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. HE SAYS THIS IT’S NOT A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION AND THE SHOOTER KNEW EXACTLY WHAT HE OR SHE WAS TRYING TO KILL.

LOONS ARE ALSO FEDERALLY PROTECTED AND THE PENALTY FOR ATTEMPTING TO TAKE – OR TAKING ONE – CAN BE A FINE OF AS MUCH AS A $250,000.

ANYONE WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE CASE IS ASKED TO CALL THE TOLL-FREE OPERATION GAME THIEF HOTLINE AT 1-800-344-4262. VIOLATIONS CAN ALSO BE REPORTED ONLINE AT THE WEBSITE www.wildnh.com.

EGAN SAYS CONFIDENTIALITY IS GUARANTEED AND REWARDS ARE PAID FOR TIPS LEADING TO AN ARREST OR CITATION.