A moose was poached in St. Mary’s and the meat was not harvested

On May 24 in St. Mary’s, a dead moose was found on roadside airport property. He had been illegally shot outside of hunting season and left there.

Two construction workers found the young moose shortly after 11 a.m. Arnold Amadon was also passing by and stopped shortly after to check on him.

“We were earlier at the end of the airport in St. Mary’s,” Amadon said. “Someone poached a moose and left it lying there. I shot one right at the end of the track.

The residents were not happy about it.

“That pisses me off. Like, you know, if you’re going to shoot him, eat him, you know?” Amadon said.

All that good meat right there, others said, they should have at least brought it home.

Residents headed to the Alaska State Police office. The patrolman on duty was leaving that day, but he said he would pass it on to the officer who was coming to replace him. The policeman helped roll the body, revealing a gunshot wound to the neck. The carcass was still warm, so people wanted it to be harvested, but it was also warm.

“It was still a little hot. So they had someone come up and skin him,” Amadon said. Others said that they needed to give the meat to the Elders.

But as the afternoon wore on, the carcass of the moose remained by the side of the road. Meanwhile, the residents stopped and took a look. Amadon also double checked a couple of times.

“There’s probably a bear within a quarter mile,” Amadon warned.

Due to the proximity to the airport, residents feared it would attract animal activity as it began to wane. There were bears seen in the dump, and birds, a known aviation hazard, were beginning to circle it.

“That’s one of the main reasons they wanted to move it, even if it wasn’t on the track itself,” said John Perreault, public information officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation. “It could still attract bears or birds and that can cause problems for active track or track activities.”

Perreault said they spoke to police officers since he was on airport property. In the end, airport staff used a loader to take it to the St. Mary’s landfill.

“What I heard from the airport staff was that there is a general feeling of unhappiness about what happened,” Perreault said. “And it is that they were trying to find someone who would take the meat or who could process it, but finally they could not.”

When a resident went to dismember it, it was sour, so rescue efforts went nowhere. Patrick Jones, the area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said yes, sometimes people hunt for meat illegally, and sometimes they accidentally shoot the wrong animal during hunting season and report it themselves. . He said that leaving the moose there was not normal.

“That is very rare. Typically, meat is highly valued in rural Alaska. So for someone to leave it, leave it there, it’s extremely painful,” Jones said.

While residents traditionally hunt elk as part of a subsistence lifestyle, subsistence fishing in the area has been severely restricted in recent years due to a shortage of salmon.

If the moose poacher is caught, he may be fined or jailed.