Moose Federation Helps Law Enforcement With Vehicle-Moose Collisions
Federation salvages moose roadkill
ANCHORAGE - When a vehicle killed a moose on Dimond Thursday, a truck from the Alaska Federation of Moose was dispatched to pick up the moose and deliver it to people that will salvage the meat.
Volunteer driver Ryan Bombini says its like a taxi service. The specially outfitted trucks arrive at the scene of an accident, load up the moose and deliver it to charities or families that are on a list compiled by the Alaska State Troopers.
The federation's program started last year from a grant from the state. Before that, the moose recipients would arrive on scene to either load up the moose, or butcher it, then load it up.
This could be a problem for police or troopers who would stay for the duration. If the recipient couldn't fit the moose in their vehicle or lift it, they would butcher it in the road. This could take a lot of time. It's also more dangerous. "It's cold and dark and snowy, and we pick it up and give it to charity, saving the officers on average about two and a half hours so the troopers can get on their way," said Gary Olson, Executive Director.
Volunteers are on call 24-7. They bring the flatbed trucks with them everywhere, ready for a call from law enforcement. Ryan Bombini and Ray Wonders work at Sportsman's Warehouse. Their employer is a sponsor. The company lets the employees clock out and pick up the hours later when they get a call.
Bombini said people are grateful for the help, "It's a very positive response; they don't have the time or the vehicles so they get passed up on the list."
Anchorage sees about 100 to 200 moose killed every year. The snow makes roadways deadlier for moose. There was one day in February when the Anchorage Mat-Su area had 17 dead moose on the road. There are 13 total trucks, two in the Anchorage area.