Former hunter safety instructor pleads to selling fake course completion cards

Posted March 26, 2014, at 4 p.m.
Last modified March 26, 2014, at 4:27 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A former hunter safety instructor admitted Wednesday that he sold fake course completion cards.

Terri Gilman, 38, of Jefferson, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Knox County Superior Court to aggravated forgery. In a deferred disposition reached between defense attorney James Mason and the district attorney’s office, the charge against Gilman will be reduced to misdemeanor forgery if he refrains from criminal conduct for the next 12 months. He will then be given a suspended 30-day jail term.

According to Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody, Maine Game Warden Mark Merrifield was investigating the possible sale of fake hunter safety cards. That investigation led to Gilman, who admitted he had sold four cards he had retained from when he had been an instructor. Gilman told authorities he sold them for $10 each.

The prosecutor said Gilman told the warden that he made sure that the four people could safely use their weapon before he sold the cards to them.

Merrifield said Wednesday that the four people who bought the cards turned them over without incident and they were not charged.

Hjelm said he accepted the agreement, in part, because Gilman had no criminal record. Gilman will be prohibited from associating with any state fisheries and wildlife program during the next year.

Applicants for an adult hunting license must show proof of having previously held an adult license to hunt with firearms since at least 1976. Otherwise, they must successfully complete an approved hunter safety course, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website.

The courses are a minimum of 12 hours, according to the department. The courses cover proper handling of firearms, survival and first aid, hunter responsibility, landowner relations, and how to use a map and compass.

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