Hunters receive large fines for moose and bear kills

Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Two out-of-state hunters and an Eagle River man received heavy fines for offenses committed during a hunt in western Alaska, including killing a black bear sow and her two cubs.

Matthew Miller of Silverton, Ore., received the largest fine -- $17,200 for his part in the illegal hunt, Alaska State Troopers said Friday.

His hunting privileges in Alaska were permanently revoked for killing the mother bear. He also killed a moose that had antlers less than 50 inches wide and with less than four brow tines on either side.

Anthony Justice, 35, of Eagle River, was fined $5,900. And 42-year-old Gary Hower of Kenmore, Wash., was fined $2,500. Their hunting privileges were revoked for five years.

Troopers said the men shot a black bear and her two cubs, as well as a bull moose that was legal for an Alaskan to shoot but not an out-of-stater.

Another man, 69-year-old Jack Wagner of Eagle River, acted as the group's guide. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Aniak District Court on Jan. 21. Wagner allegedly told Justice that he should shoot any moose with horns because he had enough tags to cover it.

The moose antlers, 46 inches and with only three brow tines, were later shipped to Washington, where an Alaska State Trooper inspected them.

Troopers were alerted to the violations by a fellow trooper. Dara Scott, who had loaned her rifle to Justice, told them he had killed a black bear cub with it.

The violations occurred in a hunt last September in western Alaska on the Innoko River. Troopers collected evidence at the site, including the remains of the mother bear and one of the cubs.

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