I've been following the thread discussing the 50" regulation on moose, and it's enforcement. I certainly have my thoughts about it, but I don't believe for a second that I have an answer which is fair for the state...fair for sportsmen...and realistically enforceable. It's quite obvious that the goals of the state, with respect to these regs and penalties, is to minimize the harvest of sub-mature bulls in areas of heavier pressure or better hunter access. Do the current regs/penalties encourage compliance? I think they do. Will guys accidentally or intentionally violate? Of course they will. For those who consider how to violate and not get caught:
I was recently on a SuperCub strip in a very unpressured drainage, and I killed a fine bull with my bow. This bull was completely legal in all respects, so all I had to do was complete my obligations as a hunter...which I did. After 4 days, my pilot dropped by and took the meat and head, which were in perfect condition. 2 hours after my pilot flew away, I received a visitor. A gorgeous red Robinson helicopter was flying the backcountry and spotted my camp. He immediately flew a couple circles and presumably spotted the remains of my moose carcass. I'm assuming he videoed or photographed the kill site, and then he landed near my camp.
I walked out to meet him, and we introduced ourselves. He was an Alaska State Trooper named Scott (last name w/held) who primarily works F&W enforcement. This man was a cop and he did what good cops do. He asked me questions. He checked my documents. He did a visual of my camp area. He let me talk, and he listened for clues or inconsistencies. He wrote notes. He was very polite and very pro in his behavior. I of course was 100% cooperative, having nothing to hide. He thanked me and flew away in his bright colored bird.
If you're thinking of ever not cooperating with Alaska F&W troopers, my advice is to reconsider. You might think you've got a loophole...an out...or you're smarter than they are. You don't, and you aren't. These men can and will employ every modern technique in existence to deter, catch and successfully prosecute violators. Most importantly; they have the power and the will to keep after a violator until hell is frozen. You might be convicted of a lesser charge...or no charge...but you'll spend a lot of money, time and sweat getting there.
Far better to pass up that questionable bull, and try to kill a 100% legal moose. Do right by Alaska and her laws. If you screw up...man up and do the right thing. Remember this very good saying: You can't save your face AND your ass at the same time.
From troopers to prosecutors to judges, a violator who tries to beat them is going to have his hands full, and pockets empty. If you violate and then try to slide? You don't have my sympathy or anger; but you have some of my pity, because you are one very misdirected and unintelligent person.
All my best to our true sportsmen.