A Limerick hunter has been charged with filing a false report after concocting a story about an unpleasant encounter with two game wardens, authorities said today.

The Maine Warden Service announced the charge against Justin Nichols, 26.

Nichols reported that he was confronted by two wardens, in their 40s, wearing the wardens’ distinctive green wool jackets with the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife patch. He said the wardens aggressively approached him and demanded his hunting license and his gun before returning both of them, the warden service said.

No wardens were working in the York County town at the time and the agency launched an intensive investigation to discover who was impersonating an officer, the warden service said.

Investigators became suspicious of the story and asked Nichols to submit to a polygraph examination, at which point he admitted to the fabrication, the warden service said.

“The investigation revealed statements made by Nichols to local hunters that would cause the average person to doubt the credibility of their local game wardens,” said Maj. Gregory Sanborn, deputy chief game warden. “Subsequent information was that there may have two men in the area pretending they are game wardens. Neither situation tends to build public trust in an enforcement agency.

“As long as there have been hunters and game wardens, some hunters have been telling tales about their encounters,” Sanborn said. “Unfortunately, it appears that this tall tale got out of hand, crossed the legal line and cost the state resources that already are stretched thin in order to get to the bottom of it.”