Park ranger pleads guilty in night hunt

Posted Feb. 24, 2009, at 7:12 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:01 a.m.

FORT KENT, Maine — An Allagash Wilderness Waterway assistant park ranger pleaded guilty last week in Fort Kent District Court to night hunting.

Department of Conservation Assistant Park Ranger Reid Caron, 30, was sentenced to three days in jail and was fined $1,000. A charge of hunting moose in closed season was dismissed.

Caron, 30, and Jess Mcbreairty, 44, both of Allagash, were each charged with night hunting and hunting moose in closed season after an investigation was launched 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.

Mcbreairty also was charged with shooting from a motor vehicle, cultivating marijuana and possession of a usable amount of marijuana. A court clerk on Tuesday said the charges against Mcbreairty would be heard in Superior Court at a later date.

According to court records, Caron and Mcbreairty went hunting for moose during the night of Sept. 7 and Mcbreairty allegedly shot the moose discovered by wardens. Caron allegedly told authorities that he and Mcbreairty were preparing to dress out the moose when a motorist came by, prompting them to flee the scene.

Caron, who has been a ranger in the wilderness waterway for about seven years, allegedly told authorities he was having “a hard time getting by” so the pair went to get some moose meat.

Will Harris, director of the Bureau of Parks and Lands, Department of Conservation, said Tuesday he was unaware Caron had pleaded guilty. He said Caron still was listed as a seasonal employee and he would remain that way despite the plea, until his department finished its own investigation. He expected that investigation would be concluded in about two weeks.

“We need to afford Reid all of his rights as well,” Harris said.

Deb Phillips, the department’s director of human resources, said Tuesday that Caron had not been sent a letter asking about his intent to return from seasonal leave.

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