An island resident is facing 18 criminal charges related to illegal hunting, including an allegation that he illegally possessed six deer heads and attempted to carry them out to a swamp to hide from Massachusetts State Police Troopers and Environmental Police as they searched his property.
Gregory Moore, 61, of Nantucket was arraigned Monday in Nantucket District court on Nov. 15 charges of hunting/fishing violations (six counts), possessing a firearm without an FID card, possessing ammunition without an FID card, deer tagging violation (six counts), and hunting/fishing in closed season (four counts). He had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf and was ordered to return to court Dec. 18 for a pretrial hearing.
According to the police report, Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) Sergeant David Wright arrived at Moore's Meadow Lane property last Wednesday to execute a search warrant alongside two other MEP officers and Sgt. Kevin Bates of the Massachusetts State Police.
The investigation involved Moore allegedly unlawfully possessing multiple antlered deer. A picture taken of Moore's property that was obtained by police showed three large antlered deer despite him allegedly never reporting any deer harvested for the 2023 hunting season. Deer hunters are also only allowed to harvest two antlered deer during the entire deer season.
Wright wrote in his report that six fresh, large antlered deer heads were discovered stacked one on top of the other vertically by a split pole fence behind a hanging deer on the property. Wright called Moore via cell phone and Moore said he was at his shop and could be home in an hour. One of the heads was from a twelve-point antlered deer.
Police told Moore they would wait in his driveway for him to return. Wright stated that while he was at his cruiser awaiting Moore's return, he heard one of the MEP officers (Lt. Gus Lunedei) begin to yell and saw Bates sprint to the back area of the property. Wright said he then saw Moore picking up the antlered deer heads that he had removed from the fence and was attempting to hide them near a swamp behind a shed at the Ackermuck Way property.
Once approached, Moore brought the heads back to his property and Bates searched him for weapons. Moore kept saying “I hunt the right way” but as he continued speaking, admitted that he did not tag or report any of the antlered deer. He told police he got the six fresh deer heads by hunting and repeated that he hunts "the right way."
When asked if he shot any antlerless deer, he said he shot one but could not provide any antlerless deer tags to officers. Wright said from his research, he knows that Moore purchased two antlerless deer tags but did not report any antlerless deer harvest.
After Wright retrieved the six deer heads and placed them in the bed of his cruiser, he looked in a green cooler next to where those heads were found and discovered another six antlered deer heads. These heads appeared to be decomposing and did not appear to be from this season. Moore told Wright they were from last year and that he received them from friends.
Another nine deer heads were found across the property in different areas in various states of decomposition, but none appeared to be from this season.
A crossbow and crossbow bolts with red and white fletching were found in a Jeep parked in his driveway. Moore gave officers consent to search the vehicle. After retrieving the bows, there were “multiple other large antlered deer heads” found throughout the area near a shed that showed signs of being much older since they were white with no decomposing flesh on them.
Police also retrieved 12 packages of deer meat from a freezer. Moore said the rest of the meat was in a freezer at a friend’s house. Police called the friend to retrieve the rest of the meat. The 12 packages of meat were stored at the secure USCG Brant Point facility freezer and it is to be donated or destroyed.
Police went into Meadow Lane residence and entered a back rear bedroom. They seized multiple expandable broadheads and crossbow bolts. Bates then located in plain view a Browning 12ga shotgun in a black soft gun case and 28 12ga Buck and Slug shotgun rounds with some rounds still in the boxes despite Moore not possessing an active MA license to carry or FID.