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Hunting apology

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 21st, 2012

My sincerest apologies for shooting and killing a moose outside of my area and on private property, where I didn’t have permission to hunt. My deepest apology for those who live in the Hoback Ranch Subdivision, as I have learned that they experience this occasionally.

I am sorry because what I did was unintentional, and I did not mean to cause any stress or hardship to anyone.

I started on Oct. 5, expecting one of my friends to meet me at the Pape Ranch. He didn’t make it, so I went exploring up toward the Rim with the intent to work back toward the Beaver Creek/Merna area. The road I was on was very windy.

I spotted a bull and cow moose about 150 to 200 yards off the road where there were no houses or private property signs posted. I thought I was in the very north part of Area 25, where public and private lands are intermingled. So thinking I was in the right area, I put my orange vest on, sat in the sage brush and shot at the cow moose, which I had a tag for.

The moose did not move. When I got up, I went back to my truck to get more supplies and turned around and did not see the moose.

I thought at that point I may have hit it because I didn’t see it run away and the bull moose was still present. I started to approach where I last saw the cow moose, and the bull moose started approaching me, keeping me from getting close enough to confirm the cow moose was down.

As I went back down the road, a man pulled up in a red truck and pointed to a house, explaining to me the man who lived in that house would throw me in jail if he caught me hunting there. He revealed to me that I was on private property and that it was Area 22.

About that time, my heart felt like it dropped into my stomach, and I followed the man in the red truck out of the area. I went back to get some maps that were better than what I had with me.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department contacted me approximately two weeks later, confirming I had killed the moose, which greatly saddened me.

This was an experience that was very humbling and one I hope never happens again. I have never gotten any serious violations other than two speeding tickets and one for frost on my window. I am a very conscientious person who takes his hunting and fishing very seriously. I feel terrible about the whole thing, so much so that I felt like giving up hunting for the year. I am very passionate about wildlife and plan to donate money to the Game and Fish for wildlife management with every hunting and fishing license I purchase

I also want people to know that during my six years of hunting, I have not filled two of five elk tags and a buffalo tag because I did not want to unnecessarily wound an animal or shoot one where I was not supposed to.

I would also like to donate my time next year to help Hoback Ranches post “No Hunting” signs where there seem to be problems.

Here are some things I plan to continue to do and some things I plan to incorporate when I go hunting so this never happens again, and hopefully this will help others.

• Wear orange.

• Always let someone know where you are going – better yet, take someone with you, especially someone who knows the area. Two heads are better than one. If you are by yourself, stop and ask someone where you are if you don’t know.

• Take a GPS unit with roads and landownership on it, along with good maps.

• When you shoot an animal, confirm you have hit it immediately. Having someone spot for you when you shoot is very helpful.

I was once told, “A wise man learns from his own mistakes, a wiser man learns from someone else’s.”

Thanks for reading this apology letter, and God bless your day.

Brian Roberts, Pinedale

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