James R. "Jesse" Jackson of Nikiski shot a moose because it attacked his dog last September, and now the Kenai Peninsula Clarion reports he's going to jail for three years. But that simple description of Jackson's actions and the consequences doesn't begin to tell what happened between the beginning and the end. Shooting the moose was at least arguably legal. Alaskans are allowed to shoot moose in defense of life and property, and a dog is property.
However, an Alaska Wildlife Trooper was skeptical about whether the dog was really in danger.
According to the Clarion, Jackson said he shot the moose a couple of minutes after his dog was attacked, adding the dog was inside the residence and uninjured when the moose was dispatched.
"The moose wasn't doing anything when he shot it, but (Jackson) felt it was a menace," Alaska Wildlife Trooper Glenn Taylor told the Clarion.
Taylor went to have a talk with Jackson. While they were talking, Jackson pulled a handgun out of his pocket. Having the handgun wasn't illegal either, but by law in Alaska, if you're armed, you have to immediately tell law enforcement. Jackson had committed a crime, which led to further investigation. The investigation revealed Jackson was a convicted felon legally prohibited from carrying a firearm. Then the gun turned out to be stolen.
By the time all was said and done, Jackson ended up charged with taking a moose during a closed season; second-, third- and fifth-degree misconduct involving a weapon; second-degree theft, and theft by receiving. The Clarion reported he resolved the charges with a plea agreement that saw him plead guilty to a charge of shooting a moose out of season and misconduct involving a weapon. In addition to the three years in jail, the 42-year-old was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.