Broomfield man pleads guilty to illegally shooting bull moose in Grand County

A Broomfield man will pay almost $20,000 in fines after pleading guilty to illegally shooting a bull moose in Grand County last November.

Callan Hyatt, 19, pleaded guilty on April 9 in 14th Judicial District Court to hunting in a careless manner, failing to locate wounded game, failing to dress wildlife, illegal possession of wildlife and hunting without a license, according to a release.

In addition to the fines, Hyatt could have his hunting and fishing privileges revoked for up to five years by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“We thank Colorado Parks and Wildlife for their detailed investigation that resulted in the successful discovery and prosecution of the defendant,” said Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Dowdell of the 14th Judicial District in a statement. “A hunter has the absolute responsibility to confirm their target and ethically harvest a legal animal. This case represents one of the worst illegal killings and waste of a bull moose in Grand County in recent years. Those who seek to illegally kill wildlife will be held responsible for wasting this valuable resource of the state of Colorado.”

According to the release, a hunter called Colorado Parks and Wildlife after finding the spoiled moose carcass. Investigators found a bullet in the moose and shoe prints in the snow that matched the rifle and boots belonging to Hyatt, who was staying at a nearby hunting camp.

Hyatt told investigators he was hunting elk when he saw movement and fired before realizing his target was a moose. He did not pursue the moose or report it, which officials said is the reason he was charged.

“We understand hunting mistakes and accidents will happen, but we expect sportsmen and women to take immediate responsibility for their actions,” District Wildlife Officer Jeff Behncke said in a statement. “Thankfully the vast majority of hunters are ethical and do the right thing in cases like this; unfortunately, there are a few that may prefer to try and evade authorities. We offer everyone this advice; if you accidentally kill the wrong species, you should call us right away and field dress the animal immediately so that it does not spoil.”

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