While many hunters are still stalking moose, Alaska State Troopers are setting their sights on one or more moose poachers.
So far this season there have been three moose poached on the peninsula, according to Todd Mountain, a trooper with the Soldotna Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement.
Mountain said troopers have found one sub-legal moose shot and left to rot in Clam Gulch, another in the North Kenai area and one this weekend about two miles off of Escape Route Road, from the Marathon Road side.
Mountain said this moose was a sub-legal bull with a 42-inch antler spread and only two brow tines per side. The meat was not harvested from this animal, but roughly 30-40 yards away was another moose that was salvaged and had its antlers removed.
“We think they were both killed around the same time, probably late Thursday night or early Friday morning, but there’s a lot of possible scenarios for what might have happened,” he said.
Mountain said other hunters initially found the dead moose and tipped off troopers.
“It was three guys from Pennsylvania,” he said. The men were in town for a night while waiting to fly out on a caribou hunt and stumbled upon the corpse while scouting around with their free time.
Mountain said it was a shame the sub-legal animal was killed and it’s an even bigger disgrace that whoever did it didn’t alert authorities so the meat could be harvested for charity.
“By the time we found it the meat was soured. That’s 400 to 500 pounds of meat that went to waste rather than feeding a family in the area that could of used it,” he said.
Whoever killed the moose will face more severe charges now if troopers find them than they had turned themselves in.
“If it was an accident and the person turns themself in, there will be a reduced punishment, so hopefully someone will call so we can start working with them,” he said.
In the meantime, this and the other two poachings remain actively investigated and anyone with tips is asked to call troopers at 262-4573 or (800) 478-3377.
“There are reward possibilities,” Mountain said.
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