A Saranac man who allegedly killed a moose in Franklin County is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers arrested Zachary Vaughn, 26, of Saranac, on Dec. 4 following a month-long investigation. He allegedly killed a moose in the Town of Franklin this fall.
Vaughn is charged with four misdemeanors: taking of a moose; possessing a loaded firearm in a vehicle; use of an artificial light in a vehicle while in possession of firearm; and hunting deer with the aid of an artificial light.
He is scheduled to appear before the town of Franklin Criminal Court, and faces a maximum penalty of $9,725 in fines and up to one-year imprisonment.
Moose are protected mammals in New York State. The species was once common in the state, but disappeared in the 1860s after habitat destruction and unregulated hunting. Moose returned to northern New York from neighboring areas beginning in 1980, taking advantage of abandoned farms and regenerated forests.
DEC’s latest estimate placed the Adirondack moose population at about 400, though the department continues to analyze data collected from aerial surveys last winter.