7mm Mag for Self Defense Against Moose? Jury Agrees

7mm Mag for Self Defense Against Moose? Jury Agrees

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- In early 2016, Chauncy G. Goodrich and his family started having problems with a young bull moose on their property near Pinedale, Wyoming.

They were repeatedly chased by the moose. They tried various non lethal methods to haze the moose away. They worked for a short period, but the bull continued to hang around the area.

By July of 2017, the non-lethal methods were exhausted and/or were no longer effective. Chauncy took a 7 mm Magnum with him as a precaution when he attempted to chase the moose off his property and away from his wife and young children.

The bull was in velvet. It started to move away, then charged him. He shot it in the chest, and it died. Chauncy called the game warden and texted him.

From pinedaleroundup.com:

“He stated he tried to push the moose away from his house when it charged him and he shot it,” it says. “… On 7/24/2017 he texted me saying he had put that bull down.”

Last Tuesday, July 25, Roundup reporters went to the Schroeder Ranch, near Goodrich’s property, where they observed a dead bull moose lying in tall grass, its antlers in the velvet stage.

Haley’s affidavit states that he, Pinedale supervisor John Lund and Warden Jordan Kraft went to the “kill site” and found the moose with a single gunshot wound to its left chest and a spent 7 mm magnum rifle casing by the tree where Goodrich reported to be when he shot it.

“The wound path indicated the bull was shot as it was facing Goodrich head on,” Haley wrote.

Moose have killed and maimed numerous people with their hoofs. They clearly have the means and motive for homicide.

In self defense law, if someone has repeatedly and credibly threatened you and your family with deadly force, most people would believe you would be justified if you finally resort to deadly force when credibly threatened.   Animals are incapable of committing crimes, because they cannot read or know the law.

Chauncy was charged with the illegal take of a moose. The crime is a high misdemeanor with a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Chauncy decided to take the case to a jury of his peers. On January 17, after a one day trial, the jurors returned a verdict after an hour and 15 minutes.

From gillettenewsrecord.com:

PINEDALE – After a one-day trial in state court, six jurors returned a verdict of “not guilty” for Chauncy G. Goodrich of Pinedale, who testified he shot and killed a young bull moose in self-defense.

I suspect Chancy’s legal fees were a couple of thousand dollars. He did not spend time in jail.

I like Washington State’s system. If you are prosecuted in a self-defense case, and are found not guilty, the state will reinburse you.

From apps.leg.wa.gov:

Defending against violent crime—Reimbursement.

(1) No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property, or for coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.

(2) When a person charged with a crime listed in subsection (1) of this section is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of time, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in his or her defense. This reimbursement is not an independent cause of action. To award these reasonable costs the trier of fact must find that the defendant’s claim of self-defense was sustained by a preponderance of the evidence. If the trier of fact makes a determination of self-defense, the judge shall determine the amount of the award.

Model legislation for all states should include defense against animal attack. I have read of prosecutions for defense against moose, bears, and dogs. There are likely others.

2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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James Russell Bailey

I used to trust game wardens, but no more.

There are only a handful of cops I trust these days as well, and those I know personally.

When cops became law enforcement officers instead of peace officers, they ceased being worthy of trust.

Game wardens are not to be trusted.


Seems likely that in this part of the country any jury wouild truly be “of your PEERS”, well aware of the serious danger such an animal could pose, and thus easily able to side with the man whose family were in danger from him. So, while the state government got all pissy about it and charged him, the jury, being equals of the accused, knew better.

I hope the judge had some sharp words for the state hooh hahs that unjustly charged him.


Montana’s Four Ess solution for the predatory wolf problem would also be well suited to this type of situation. To be on the REALLY safe side, procure a different rifle chambered in the same round, and when they come round asking if you have a rigle chambered in 7mm Mag, hand them THAT one, keeping the one you actually used off the property for a season. Let them play their white coat lab games. We had a situation here in Washington State some years back… in a rural area outside of a smaller but signficant city, a cougar had been… Read more »

Wild Bill

Hold on a minute! “… problems with a young bull moose on their property near Pinedale, Wyoming.” If it happened in Wyoming, then why are we quoting the Washington statute? To wit: “… (2) When a person charged with a crime listed in subsection (1) of this section is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for…” So is it Wyoming or Washington? Or does Wyoming use Washington’s statutes?


I think it happened in WY. The author was merely stating that he like the WA law, not that it applied to this story.

Rob J

Very glad to hear he was found not guilty of the charges. Having been charged by moose during regular deer season on multiple occasions and living around them most of my life I can attest to the fact that they are often aggressive and are quite hard to discourage once they have claimed a territory. Would that it stay that way here in WA with real “common sense’ laws in place. However, the power grabbers in charge are trying to dismantle personal liberties, state preemption, the state constitution, and the 2nd Amendment. And all this merely months after they gains… Read more »

Brian Gundlach

Why was he even charged?

Sal Chichon

I guess you could say he was charged because he made the mistake of, “doing the right thing,” and informing authorities of the fact that he killed that moose in the first place.

I do not fully know what his situation was, but he should not have told anybody he shot the moose.

The Rifleman

Indeed he did “do the right thing” by reporting the incident to the authorities. As law abiding responsible citizens, that’s what we are supposed to do. Unfortunately, (and all too often,) the old adage of “No good deed goes unpunished” comes into play. I then to think that most people want to “do the right thing” when faced with situations like this, but when “doing the right thing” means that chances are better than good you’ll be faced with sever consequences, it leaves much to ponder over. (i.e. damned if you, and damned if you don’t!)


Too true. Years ago, my late uncle was a lieutenant on the Chicago Police Force. He told me every year there were several unsolved murders in Chicago in which a “victim” with a long, LONG criminal record was shot at close range, without being robbed. Often late at night, near a bus stop or subway platform. No witnesses, and no shooter ever came forth. After many investigations, the consensus among police was generally that the deceased “victims” tried to rob the WRONG person. Police didn’t try TOO hard to find out what happened, but if someone later “did the right… Read more »


The best response is total silence. If he had picked up his brass, and then said nothing, he would have been safe from prosecution. Even if his state has a forensic lab for wildlife cases, as Oregon does, a single 7mm bullet in the animal would have been almost impossible to tie to an individual (even if they discovered this fellow owned a 7mm rifle). It is a negative sign of our times, but our “justice” system is packed with law enforcement officers and prosecutors who feel “righteous” if they can charge and get a conviction on even an innocent… Read more »