Crime & Courts

Anchorage men charged with wasting meat from undersized moose

Update, May 3: Alaska Wildlife Troopers say they have charged a third person, 43-year-old Anchorage resident Kanchiro Lee, in connection with the ongoing investigation into the illegal kill and waste of several moose near Eureka in September 2023. Troopers said there could be additional charges filed.

Original story:

Alaska State Troopers said two Anchorage men were charged last week in connection with an investigation into the killing of four undersized moose left to waste last year near Eureka.

Koua Vang, 36, and Kong Vang, 41, shot at least two of the moose in early September, according to troopers.

During a lengthy investigation, Alaska Wildlife Troopers interviewed witnesses and seized evidence, including hunting rifles, from the men, according to a probable cause statement written by Trooper Justin McGinnis and included in the criminal charges.

Authorities were notified Sept. 7 that multiple moose had been shot and left to waste near Sanona Creek north of Eureka, the statement said. They responded by helicopter and found two moose that didn’t meet legal standards for hunting, the statement said.

The creek is located north of the Talkeetna Mountains in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.


Another two moose located nearly 3 miles away had also been shot and left to waste, troopers spokesman Austin McDaniel said this week. The investigation is ongoing and the Vangs are currently charged in the waste of only two of the four moose, he said.

By the time troopers found the moose, they had already begun to rot and the meat could not be salvaged, McDaniel said. He couldn’t say if the two men are related or why they share the same last name.

The moose didn’t meet state hunting regulations, which require that bulls’ antlers measure at least 50 inches at their widest point, the statement said.

Investigators found tracks matching descriptions from witnesses who said they saw the men drive up to the moose in a Can-Am six-wheeler and then drive away without salvaging the meat, according to the statement. Witnesses also provided troopers with photos, it said.

Rifles seized from the men matched casings found at the scene and a bullet in at least one of the moose, the statement said.

Troopers were able to identify Kong and Koua Vang as suspects, along with another man who is named in the complaint but has not yet been charged.

Koua Vang told troopers he’d shot and missed a moose while hunting in the area, the statement said.

Kong and Koua Vang were charged April 22 with two misdemeanor counts of wanton waste of big game and hunting seasons and bag limit violations. They were issued summonses and are scheduled to appear in the Glennallen courthouse later this month.

An attorney representing Koua Vang declined to comment on the case when reached by phone Wednesday.

The investigation is ongoing and McDaniel said additional charges may be filed.

Troopers in an online statement about the charges said when a hunter unintentionally shoots an animal that doesn’t meet hunting regulations, they should still salvage the meat and are required to report it to troopers. Fines for self-reporting are lower than fines that result from investigations.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at