Moose kill near Homer by Fish and Game official brings charges

A state wildlife biologist who claims to have gone to extra lengths to find a moose he wounded while hunting near Homer is in trouble now.

The Homer News reports 33-year-old Jason Herreman, assistant area management biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, has been charged with using illegal means to kill a moose and with unlawful possession of game. The charges stem from an Aug. 23 hunt and the Aug. 24 use of an aircraft.

Herreman claims he wounded a moose on the Aug. 23 but couldn't find it. He came back the next day to track down the injured animal with help from a spotter in an airplane. It is illegal to use planes to help spot and kill game in Alaska.

The law on using them to help recover wounded animals is less clear. Lawyer Myron Angstman from Bethel, who is representing Herreman, called the case unusual. "This is a case of an interpretation of the law ... that needs to be resolved by the court," he told the Homer newspaper.

The lawyer told the Homer News that state law allows hunters to use any reasonable means to track down and salvage a wounded animal. He added that salvaging an animal using radios and aircraft should be considered against the alternative of not salvaging the animal at all. That could be considered wanton waste, he said.

Herreman has pleaded not guilty to the crimes. The illegal possession charges stems from his keeping the moose Alaska Wildlife Troopers believe was taken illegally with help from a spotter in the airplane.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said said that Herreman's job title was area wildlife supervisor.