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Troopers count 10 illegal moose takes

Posted: September 4, 2013 - 9:52pm  |  Updated: September 5, 2013 - 10:44am

Even with a change in regulations this season, Alaska Wildlife Troopers have charged hunters with taking moose that don’t meet Alaska Department of Fish and Game requirements.

Ten moose have been taken illegally to date this season in the Kenai-Soldotna area. The majority of those charged turned themselves into Fish and Game or troopers, Wildlife Trooper Lt. Jon Streifel said.

“A lot of it is people just aren’t taking the time to carefully observe and identify what it is they’re pulling the trigger on,” Streifel said.

This season Fish and Game is giving hunters in Units 7 and 15 the option of taking one bull with a spike antler or one bull with 50-inch antlers or antlers with four or more brow tines on one side. Antlers must be sealed within 10 days of take.

Fish and Game regulated moose harvest to 50-inch antlers or four or more brow tines for the past two seasons, due to a low bull-to-cow ratio of about 9 bulls to 100 cows, Ted Spraker, board of game chair, said.

He said the department tries to keep the ratio at 20 bulls to every 100 cows.

“Once it exceeds that ratio, you’re keeping too many bulls on range,” Spraker said. … “Anything over that is surplus, and that is open for hunting.”

Spraker said when that ratio is exceeded it also causes food and space competition between the bulls and cows. If there is a limited amount of food, it’s desirable to keep cows in the area to build the population more quickly verses having a higher number of bulls, he said.

Troopers have seen people taking sub-legal moose for a variety of reasons, Streifel said. Some hunters thought their kill met the 50-inch regulation; others thought the bull had a spike, but it turned out to have forked antlers; and some thought forks were legal.

Fines for taking illegal moose can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand depending on the situation. Streifel said hunters who turn themselves in for an illegal kill usually receive a lesser fine. He said the best thing to do for accidental illegal takes is to call Fish and Game or troopers. Meat from sub-legal moose is given to charity.

Troopers are investigating one poaching kill so far this season. At Mile 108 of the Sterling Highway, an illegal moose was found shot and left at the side of the road. Troopers believe the kill happened about Aug. 28. If anyone has information about the incident, they are requested to call Fish and Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377.

“It’s one thing to make a mistake. … It’s another thing to leave something and turn a blind eye to it,” Streifel said.


Kaylee Osowski can be reached at

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Suss 09/05/13 - 10:46 am
July City Moose

There was a young bull donated to the Sterling Senior Center that had been "accidentally shot " and killed in July while inside the city limits of Soldotna. Young and tender and very much enjoyed. Thanks go out to all these unfortunate hunters for their unwilling and unwise donations.

BigRedDog 09/06/13 - 06:20 am
The second season

Years ago we had two seasons on the Kenai, after the regular season a cow season for culling the moose along the Sterling highway. And then there was the first snow season. That is when poachers went out with 2 or 3 cans of white spray paint and pulled the hide over the gut pile and painted the hair white! Don't know who thought of that but it sure did work good! I've heard 3 or 4 cans work a whole lot better.
Sure it's wonderful to live on this iconic Peninsula and witness the wildlife all around us. But the harsh reality is these same moose cause upwards of 300 plus road-kills per year to the local larders. Then the cost of auto repair and the occasional serious injury really put a damper on this co-existing. Shooting them back of the highway and letting the people harvest the over abundance of cows along the road, seems to be what works. But the cry baby whiners somehow think it's more fun to knock moose down with their 30 to 40K, SUVs. And people ask why they put the moose crossing sign down by the highway anyway?

JohnPeterZenger 09/06/13 - 12:03 pm
Cry baby whiners who think

Cry baby whiners who think it's fun to knock moose down?

As imaginary as that 'cow season for culling moose along the highway'.

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