The DEC received the report of the dead moose on Tahawus Road in Newcomb on Saturday, November 1, from a caretaker at the Santanoni Club, a hunting, fishing and recreation club located nearby.
A necropsy later found that the animal was “killed by a shotgun slug or muzzle-loading bullet fired through its chest,” DEC spokesman Dave Winchell told Adirondack Almanack.
The necropsy didn’t find any evidence that it was hit by a car or had other serious wounds, Winchell said.
Winchell said the female moose was 244 pounds. Its size indicates it was born this past spring.
Hunting moose is not legal in New York State. Killing a moose is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a $2,000 fine and a year in jail.
DEC estimates the moose population in New York state to be between six hundred and one thousand.
Rumors of the moose killing have been circulating in Newcomb in recent days. Town Supervisor George Canon speculated that it was shot by someone from outside the region.
“It had to be somebody that wasn’t a native because even if they shot one by accident, they would never leave it in the woods,” Canon said. “It was left to rot. That’s not something a native or an Adirondack native guy would do. They’d take it out of there. That’s my own opinion.”
Tahawus Road, where the moose was found, connects Route 28N to the Upper Works trailhead, a popular gateway to the High Peaks and Henderson Lake.
The last reported moose killing occurred off Owls Head Road in the town of Keene in October 2008. Two men were charged in that case. Keene resident Burton Smith was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $2,000 for killing the animal. Kelley Reyell of Ausable Forks, who helped him butcher it, was fined $1,000.
DEC environmental conservation officers are investigating this most recent incident. Anyone with information should call DEC’s dispatcher in Ray Brook at 518-897-1300.
Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: A wild moose.