Thursday, March 30, 2006

Robo-Moose Blasted

The Missouri Department of Conservation works to conserve and regulate Missouri's fisheries, forests and wildlife populations. They enforce hunting regulations, including making sure hunters have the proper permits and don't exceed the limit on game killed. Conservation officers use robotic decoys to catch those who would hunt from their vehicle on a road (like Dick Cheney). They also produce an excellent television program, Missouri Outdoors, which airs on Ozarks Public Television.

Our Canadian neighbors to the north also use decoys, including to catch those who would kill an endangered species. Tuesday a Nova Scotia man pleaded guilty to attempting to kill "Bullwinkle."

From The London Free Press:

Popping Bullwinkle costs hunter

AMHERST, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia man has been banned from hunting for 20 years after shooting a robotic moose.

Robert Lee McLaren, 49, of Pugwash Junction pleaded guilty yesterday to attempting to kill an endangered species.

He is the first person in Nova Scotia to be found guilty of the crime after shooting Bullwinkle, a full-sized moose decoy used by the Natural Resources Department to help combat the poaching of mainland moose.

The animals became an endangered species in 2003.

McLaren shot the decoy near Thomson Station, N.S., on Nov. 2.

He had been driving with his wife and child when he stopped his car, jumped out, levelled a rifle over the roof, and fired at the fake moose.

Conservation officers were just metres away and arrested him.

In addition to the hunting ban, McLaren must also pay a $4,025 fine, and forfeit his car and rifle.

Similar charges against McLaren's wife, Lorelei Anne, were dropped once her husband pleaded guilty.

Eight Guysborough County residents also charged with shooting the decoy will go to court this spring.

Unfortunately, there's no art work. I'd love to see the robotic moose. Better still, I'd love to see the town of "Pugwash Junction," and learned how it was named.