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 Oops, shot a moose on accident, police sniper... 
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 Post subject: Oops, shot a moose on accident, police sniper...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 9:04 am 
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Anyone find any faults in this story? I find a couple, but you be the judge.
As a hunter myself, I find a few things to be offensive. Otherwise the story is a real heart warmer.

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1928412/

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Oct 08, 2008 (Star Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- HON | Quote | Chart | News | PowerRating -- The bull moose that emerged from the thick underbrush 260 yards distant along a clear stream in the Alaska interior took Brad Erickson by surprise.
But then everything had been a surprise. The moose, yes. Also the earlier re-connection with an uncle Erickson hadn't seen in 12 years. And, when that uncle died, enough money set aside in his will for Erickson to do what his uncle had always wanted to do, but never had.

"I saw the bull. It had a huge rack. But I didn't have time to count brow tines, to see for sure if he was legal. I fell to one knee, found the moose in my scope, and shot," said Erickson, 47, of Minnetonka.

Just as quickly, the animal disappeared in the brush.

Immediately, an outpouring of thoughts descended upon Erickson. Everything had happened in a rush. Did the bull's antlers possess the necessary four brow tines on one side to make it legal? If not, was the inside spread of its antlers at least 50 inches, another legal benchmark? * Why the hell would you shoot at something if you weren't positive it was going to be legal to shoot? If it turned out not to be you'd be a damn poacher!*

And what of his guide, the 21-year-old named Jake? This was their sixth day in the bush together, and the first chance they had had to wash up. They were splashing water on their faces when Jake looked upstream and saw a cow moose.

Until then, they had seen only one moose, a legal bull. But nothing great. Erickson had passed.

"When Jake saw that cow, he whispered to me and I went for my rifle," Erickson said. Erickson, a Hennepin County Sheriff's Department sergeant who for seven years led that agency's sniper squad, is firearms savvy.

"After the cow came out, the bull followed it into the stream. I went to a knee and shot. Then Jake said to me, 'I didn't tell you to shoot. I just wanted you to see the cow,' " Erickson said. *Sure he knows how to shoot a gun, but seems to be on the dangerous side when it comes to WHEN TO SHOOT a gun*

Rewind to 2006.

John Svegal, Erickson's uncle and a retired Honeywell engineer, dies of cancer. A few months later, Svegal's wife, Betty, also dies. Both were in their 80s.

The relationship between Svegal, a decorated World War II veteran, and Erickson was special. Though for one 12-year stretch the two hadn't seen one another, it was Svegal who had taken Erickson hunting as a boy, teaching him that you don't shoot what you don't eat. It was also Svegal, a dog lover, who, after the pair had reconnected in 1987, occasionally sneaked Erickson's law enforcement narcotics dog treats he wasn't supposed to have.

It was also Svegal who, in his last days, while recounting his few life regrets to Erickson, revealed he had always wanted to hunt in Alaska. But never had.

Doubtless, Svegal knew Erickson's chances of hunting there on a law enforcement officer's salary weren't good, either.

So when he died, Svegal left enough money in his will for his nephew to hunt in Alaska. The will could have been changed by Erickson's aunt after her husband died. But it wasn't.

Erickson flew to Alaska for the first time a year ago last month. He wanted a moose. "I didn't get one," he said. "But I did carry my uncle's photograph with me, and one day I climbed the highest hill in the area, and I put his photo under a rock. You're probably not supposed to do that, but I did it anyway."

Returning to the Twin Cities, Erickson met two hunters who told him about Joe Schuster, a former Minnesotan who is a reputable Alaska guide. With enough of his uncle's money to hunt in Alaska again, Erickson booked a return trip.

"I worked security for 12 to 16 hours a day at the Republican National Convention, and after that, I was ready for a break," he said. "When the convention ended, I flew to Alaska to hunt."

But after six days in the bush, Erickson had yet to pull the trigger. He didn't have to kill something to honor his uncle's memory. Were that the case, he would have already drawn down on a grizzly he and Jake had stalked.

"I don't have anything against killing grizzlies," he said. "But I have never forgotten my uncle telling me not to kill something unless you intend to eat it."

Then, suddenly, the cow moose appeared.

Followed by the bull.

And the shot.

What -- or who -- had pushed the animals into the open?

"When we walked upstream, we found the bull 40 yards from where he was when I shot, lying in the water," Erickson said. "He had tried to get back across the river, following the cow. I hit him right behind the shoulder, where I had aimed."

The bull likely will be recorded as one of the top 15 moose ever killed in North America. Its inside spread measured 74 1/4 inches, with six brow tines to a side. Its antlers bore 32 points and a Boone and Crockett green score of 239.

Said Erickson: "I believe my uncle had something to do with that bull coming out of the brush."

Dennis Anderson --danderson@startribune.com
[/i]

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:04 am 
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Sometimes it's better to be lucky than smart.

Or something like that.

If I had done that (which I wouldn't) I sure wouldn't be telling on myself. :oops:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:53 am 
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I tend to cut folks a bit of slack for the equivalent of buck fever, as long as it's just issues like the size of tines and antlers, and not stuff like shooting at sounds. I understand that the DNR is not nearly as sympathetic, institutionally, but that's okay.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:34 pm 
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I was thinking the same thing Joel. He did write that he saw the huge rack and didn't have time to count tines. sounds like a little buck fever combined with the rush of knowing you probably need to make the shot while you have a chance. I'm sure most deer hunters around here have taken shots at bucks without knowing how many points there are? He could have phrased it a little better, since it can certainly be taken in a poorer light than that.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:51 pm 
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I guess I look at the legallity issue from a consequence standpoint. I can't argue the concept of buck fever. I get it like anyone else.

But if the DNR is going to rain down fine afte fine if I get caught taking an animal I'm not supposed to be taking, then I keep my finger off the trigger as a general rule.

The story wasn't phrased the best, if we give the hunter the benefit of the doubt. I'd think if you saw a moose with a 74 inch spread (50'' being legal), and if you'd done your homework then you would have a pretty good idea the thing was legal. 2 feet is a big difference.

Disclaimer: I haven't hunted moose myself, so I don't know what a immature or mature moose looks like in the binoculars. But I bet his guide did. So maybe: what the heck do I know?

If anything its bad publicity for a representative of the local law enforcement. Insulting his decision making abilities as a trained sniper the way it reads to me.

The second beef I have is him shooting at the Cow (whether the cow is shot or not isn't stated of course), and the article saying the guide did not say "shoot". I can understand the bull, and wondering about the rack. But going trigger happy just because you are in the moment doesn't fly.

The legal side of that I don't know. Maybe you can take a cow and a bull moose the same as in deer hunting. If so, so be it. But the story makes it seem like it was somehow unintentional to shoot at the cow. Therefore I had/have suspicion.

Just a lot of "well this happened, but in hindsight I wouldn't necessarily have done it the same way" type of stuff. I like to think most hunters are more in control of their actions, even when emotions are high.

I have never shot a hen pheasant accidentally, nor a deer I didn't fully intend to shoot. Both get emotions going, but I never had to wonder if I was on the right side of the law when I did it. However in Moose, there are regulations saying what is legal and what isn't. Far as I know, you can harvest just about any whitetail deer you like within reason and if you have bought and present the correct tags.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:16 pm 
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Ok curiosity got me, looked up the moose hunting reg's.

http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/regulations/pdfs/mooseid.pdf

Very first paragraph:
Quote:
Each hunter is responsible for determining if a moose is legal before attempting to take it.df


Now some will say "yeah thats what they want you to do, but in real life there isn't always time". I know I've said the same thing, I'm just saying if you are caught it won't be good for your check book.

Also its pretty clear by the Alaskan government that if you aren't sure, don't pull the trigger. The article that starts this thread indicates the opposite happened, which is where I draw the line, assuming thats what really occurred. Otherwise, if all moose shot were tagged, and seen to be legal before shooting, I have no beef, and they have moose.

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If uncertain about antler spread, count brow tines. If uncertain about the number of brow tines, don't shoot

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:37 pm 
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tullibee wrote:
I'm sure most deer hunters around here have taken shots at bucks without knowing how many points there are?

Well, sure, because in Minnesota AFAIK the number of points has never been a legal issue (except in a couple very limited experimental hunting areas). The only issue we've ever really had is whether the deer had antlers or not.

When I went to Colorado to hunt elk, it's a whole different story. One of the brow tines must be at least 5" in length or it must have at least 4 points on one side. It's a serious business and the game department accepts no excuses.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:23 pm 
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DeanC wrote:
tullibee wrote:
I'm sure most deer hunters around here have taken shots at bucks without knowing how many points there are?

Well, sure, because in Minnesota AFAIK the number of points has never been a legal issue (except in a couple very limited experimental hunting areas). The only issue we've ever really had is whether the deer had antlers or not.

When I went to Colorado to hunt elk, it's a whole different story. One of the brow tines must be at least 5" in length or it must have at least 4 points on one side. It's a serious business and the game department accepts no excuses.


In MN there is a rule on what is considering a legal antler. I think the rule is 2-3 inches of polished antler. Although in my opinion, if you're having to split that hair, is this animal really big enough to be worth shooting??? Let it grow up for Christ's sake.

What kinda got me in this story is that he passed up when earlier that was legal but not very big. But then immediatly shot at this one because it was huge. In that cause why would the thoughts of legality enter your mind?? You already had a legal benchmark, this surpassed it....wth?!?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 7:33 am 
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Maybe the term "rookie" covers it well enough.

Beyond that, maybe they should have spared certain details of the story. I'd be embarrassed as hell to have that story published with anything but the part about the uncle.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:32 pm 
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If you read this very carefull, you will see he talks about the shot; one shot. Nowhere does it say that he shot the cow.

I don't think its very well written... or something got left out in the cut and paste operation. The other guy apparently didn't see the bull (only saw the cow) and that is why he said what he did about him being dangerous.


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