FORT KENT, Maine — An Allagash Wilderness Waterway ranger and another man pleaded not guilty in District Court on Friday to charges of hunting moose in closed season and night hunting.
Department of Conservation Ranger Reid Caron, 30, and Jess Mcbreairty, 44, both of Allagash, were charged with the violations after an investigation by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The investigation centered on a moose that had been shot and killed Sept. 7 on St. Francis Road in Township 15 Range 10.
The case against Caron, who has been on paid administrative leave since the end of September, has been continued to Feb. 20. During his court appearance, Caron told Judge Ronald Daigle he did not want legal representation.
Mcbreairty additionally was charged with shooting from a motor vehicle, cultivating marijuana and possession of a usable amount of marijuana.
Mcbreairty’s case is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 20. He also declined representation.
If convicted on the Class D charges, the two could face up to 1,003 days in jail and fines up to $1,000.
According to court records, Caron and Mcbreairty went hunting for moose during the night of Sept. 7 and Mcbreairty shot the moose discovered by wardens. Caron told authorities that he and Mcbreairty were preparing to dress out the moose when a motorist came by, prompting them to flee.
Caron, who has been a ranger in the wilderness waterway for about seven years, told authorities he was having “a hard time getting by” so the pair went to get some moose meat.