An Anchor Point resident was sentenced for poaching and wasting three bull moose last week. Rusty Counts will spend nine months in jail. Counts is also required pay over $100,000 in fines and restitution and forfeit his rifle and ATV used while taking the illegal moose. The Homer District Court also suspended his hunting license for three years.
The Alaska Wildlife Troopers received reports about Count’s crime in the fall of 2018. Troopers received reports about two moose shot and left to rot in a field. According to troopers, Counts salvaged very little edible meat from the moose. Troopers say they were able to identify Counts after a witness provided a photo of him riding away from the scene on a four-wheeler. During the investigation, troopers learned that Counts poached a third moose.
Assistant State Attorney General Aaron Peterson said in court that this is one of the most egregious poaching case that wildlife troopers have seen in decades.
Counts was charged with unlawful possession of game and taking a moose during a closed season among other charges. He was convicted on 21 counts.