Two Charged in Connection With Shooting of Assateague Horse During Deer Hunt
Contact: Ted Morlock, 410-629-6055
BERLIN, Maryland: Chief Ranger Ted Morlock announced today that charges have been levied against two individuals connected with the shooting death of a wild horse during a public deer hunt within Assateague Island National Seashore on January 15, 2011.
A resident of Easton, Maryland has been charged with four violations: illegal taking of wildlife, use of a weapon that endangers persons or property, destroying from its natural state: living wildlife, and knowingly giving a false or fictitious report.
A second individual from Preston, Maryland has been charged with knowingly giving a false or fictitious report.
Each violation carries a maximum sentence of 6 months incarceration and a $5000 fine.
According to Chief Ranger Morlock, Assateague Rangers conducted a lengthy investigation, interviewed many hunters and witnesses, and collected evidence. The citations allege that the Easton man shot and killed a 28 year-old mare during the public deer hunt, and then provided false information to NPS investigators.
Morlock also stated, "In addition to thanking the investigating rangers, the U.S. Attorney's Office, the National Park Service's Special Agent's Offices, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm's local field agent and their forensics laboratory, I want to thank the many hunters who continue to safely hunt at Assateague Island National Seashore. The success of our hunting program has always depended on the cooperation of hunters and our shared interest in the resource, good sportsmanship, and ethical hunting practices. This unfortunate incident does not reflect on the hundreds of responsible hunters who come to Assateague every year and will not adversely affect decisions pertaining to our hunting programs."
A charge filed is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by violation notice is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
For more information on Assateague Island National Seashore visit www.nps.gov/asis
Did You Know?
Just like people, seastars eat clams, oysters and mussels! Instead of using tools to open their lunch they pull it apart using tube feet that work like suction cups. Then they push their stomach out of their centrally located mouth and into their prey and liquidate it!