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MD: ASSATEAGUE: Wild horse shot during deer hunt

ASSATEAGUE: Wild horse shot during deer hunt

January 20, 2011

BERLIN — Assateague park officials said a wild horse was apparently shot during a two-day deer hunt. The horse was a 28-year-old bay mare, Assateague Island National Seashore officials said, and park rangers are looking into who may have shot the horse.

“Regardless of whether the shooting was accidental or not, the failure to report the incident violates National Park Service regulations and we intend to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” Chief Ranger Ted Morlock said in a news release. The statement said a hunter found the dead animal on Jan. 15 and reported it to park rangers the next day.

Park officials allow several gun-hunting seasons a year to control the barrier island’s deer population, but do not permit the hunting of its wild horses, instead using contraceptives to keep their population on the Maryland side to about 125 animals.

The National Park Service is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible individual. Persons with information about the incident should contact Chief Ranger Morlock at 410-629-6055, or by email at ted_morlock@nps.gov. All information provided may remain confidential.

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