Alaska Wildlife Troopers say on Sep. 14th, 39-year-old Rusty Counts shot and killed a bull moose that was not yet legal. Counts then left that moose in a field off Hannah Rene Road in Anchor Point.

Troopers say Counts and a juvenile shot and killed three bull moose that season, but none of them met the antler requirements for the area. Only one back strap from one moose was salvaged; all of the remaining meat was left to spoil. That resulted in several charges against Counts, including three charges each of: Wanton Waste of a Big Game Animal, Take Sublegal Moose Closed Season, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Fail to Seal Antlers, Fail to Report Hunt, and Fail to Validate Harvest Ticket. He was also charged with two counts of Take Over Limit of Moose, and one count of Illegal Possession.

Counts was found guilty in the Homer District Court Thursday, Dec. 6th. His sentence is 270 days in jail, and a fine of $102,650, with an additional $3,000 in restitution, as well as forfeiting his rifle, ATV, and hunting licenses for three years.

If you see hunting or resource violations in Alaska you can call Fish and Wildlife Safeguard and report them anonymously. The volunteer organization works with Alaska Wildlife Troopers and can be reached at 1-800-478-3377. Identifying yourself is optional, but may lead to a reward in conviction cases.

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