It was late one evening when two men from Nova Scotia set out for a hunting trip. Upon searching the woods for any creatures, they spotted what seemed to be a moose staring back at them. Quickly, one of the men fired a shot in hopes of hitting the majestic beast.
What they really hit though was not a REAL moose, but in fact a decoy that was set up by police in hopes of catching illegal poachers in the area. Province officials were hiding in the nearby brush and quickly emerged to arrest both men and seize their guns.
Despite the moose being totally fake, the intent to kill was still there. In the provincial wildlife act in Nova Scotia, it's super illegal to practice unsafe hunting. Since the men were out with their guns at night, with only the guidance of a flashlight, it would definitely fall under the category of "unsafe." Especially if it was so dark out you couldn't even tell that the moose you shot at was a prop.
This all happened over a decade ago, yet their court hearing with the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal was just yesterday. You're probably curious as to why it has taken so long for everything to come to a close. It's because both men continued to take their appeals to higher ranking courts in hopes of getting a better outcome from the situation.
The hunters argued that it was in their rights as indigenous peoples to practice traditonal hunting methods, which typically took place at night. Authorities disagreed though, as they believed using a flashlight to hunt in the dark was definitely not within traditional practice.
The Canadian men were fined quite a bit of money, the reason being that there was a massive safety risk to be hunting for moose (real or fake) at such late hours. Many people camp and fish in the woods and with everything being much more difficult to see at night things could have ended a lot worse if someone was in the area.
In the end, none of the courts were on their side, and really all that came from the situation was a super extended period of time in court and the question of whether or not the moose you've seen in the woods before have been real or just a decoy set up by police. No one really knows for sure.