Rusty Counts of Anchor Point Alaska shot 3 bull moose, and left most of the meat to rot. He was hunting in an unit that required the antlers to have a 50 inch spread. none of the three moose had the required spread.
The moose were shot in September over a two week period. on November 6 Counts pleaded guilty to 21 misdemeanor wildlife counts including, wanton waste, exceeding bag limits, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The first moose that was shot had a spread of 45 inches, only 5 inches short of the legal requirement. The second moose had a 25 inch spread and the third had a 26 inch spread. This is not close to the 50 inches required and shows that Counts was being completely irresponsible and immoral.
A local teach saw one of the moose shot with an antler spread well below the legal limit. He also recognized a former student with the hunter near the bull. When The kid was interviewed he admitted to his uncle shooting all three bull moose.
Counts was fined $97,650 and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution. He lost his rifle, all-terrain vehicle, and was sentenced to 270 days in jail.
It may seem like a major penalty for poaching, but it should be. It is important for huge fines to come down on poachers for two reasons. first as a deterrent for other poachers. second for non hunters to see that the general hunting public takes poaching seriously. Most non hunter approve of hunting for meat. Nothing makes hunters look worse that poachers killing animals, and letting the meat rot. Letting meat go to waste should carry the heaviest fines.