Fish and Wildlife Protection troopers launch wanton waste crackdown

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state is cracking down on hunters who fail to salvage all the meat from game animals that they shoot.

More than 50 wanton waste citations have been issued around the state since hunters took to the field this fall.

Troopers say they wrote eight citations for wasting meat, and 29 citations for packing out the antlers before the meat was packed out.

Troopers said they also investigated 10 wasted caribou out of Kotzebue, one wasted caribou near Illiamna, a wasted bear near Bethel and another out of Quinhagak, and three wasted moose out of Holy Cross.

Wanton waste of big game meat is an offense punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and a year in jail.

All of the meat from moose, caribou, sheep, mountain goat, wild reindeer, deer, elk, bison, muskox, spring black bear and small birds must be salvaged and removed from the field.

That includes meat from the ribs, neck, brisket, front quarters, hindquarters, and meat along the backbone.

The breasts of birds must be salvaged.

''There are a number of reasons (why) hunters fail to salvage all the edible meat,'' said Sgt. Charlie Yoder of Fish and Wildlife Protection.

''Sometimes hunters don't want the meat; only the trophy from the kill. Sometimes they've hiked in too far and don't want to pack-out all the meat. It can be a lot.''

An adult moose can produce 250- to 600 pounds of meat. A bison can produce up to 700 pounds. A caribou can produce 55- to 175 pounds of meat.

''Sometimes hunters won't know what they're required to salvage,'' Yoder said in a prepared statement.

''Some states only require you to take the four legs and the backstrap, but the requirements are very clear in the regulations, there shouldn't be any confusion.''

State law also requires that hunters pack out all the meat before they can take the horns or antlers.

''There have been occasions when hunters start out by packing out their trophy, and by the time they get back for the rest of the animal the meat has been ruined by the weather or has been stolen by another hunter or a wild animal.

''The law is very clear, you may not possess the horns or antlers of a big game animal before you have salvaged and removed the meat,'' Yoder said.

Typical fines for wasting meat run between $1,000 and $3,000 with half that suspended.

The suspended amounts can be reinstated during a probationary period (normally one to two years) if additional infractions occur during that time.

Hunters also loose their trophies plus any meat they did keep.

Hunting privileges also are revoked for one to two years.


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