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Thread: Information on Vehicle Struck Moose- The Rules

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    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default Information on Vehicle Struck Moose- The Rules

    Morning folks, not sure if this is the correct thread on the forum but I am trying to find the rules/laws on vehicle struck moose. Here is the incident that prompts the question.

    I was driving last weekend way north (3hrs north of FAI) when I came across a calf who had been hit by a car. it was alive but the ass end was busted up. There is no cell signal and its a long drive to get to one. the calf is laying in the middle of the road and its very dark. the road flares would burn out before a trooper could get there.

    tough call....?? my instinct was to put the calf down and pull it off the road, then call it in when I had a signal... but what about meat salvage?

    anyway, I am trying to find what and where the laws are that might help guide my actions next time. thanks guys.

    G

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    This sounds like a perfect thread for Ask a trooper. My understanding is any animal that is hit by a vehicle belongs to the State. Then the State of Alaska will find a local Charity group to come salvage the animal.

    I am not sure what would be said about you putting the animal down and pulling it off the road. Tough situation.

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    As far as putting the critter down, I wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole. It sucks that the critter is hurt, but it would suck even worse to get a ticket for killing a moose out of season. Intentions, however honorable and sincere are irrelevant.

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    If you killed the calf you will be charge with poaching…….. It’s the way the law is written. I know a guy that did the same thing because he did not want the animal to suffer. He field dress the animal and turn it in to the trooper and they charged him with poaching, it cost him $1200.

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    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    yeah... I didn't do it but I really considered it on the side of public safety cause the calf was in the middle of a dark road... someone hitting that thing at 50mph would have really caused some major problems for the people....

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    This question has come up before (I think it was in the Fairbanks Daily Newsminer), but your situation goes a bit beyond what was discussed. The troopers are not 100% against letting people dispatch a wounded animal. They explained that there are instances when they would allow it, but that was AFTER contacting them. If it was a safety situation and the person could explain how it could be done safely and not possibly endanger bystanders, nearby structures, etc... and the proper officials could not get to that location in a reasonable time, then they may allow it to be done. Without getting the okay before pulling the trigger, you are at the whim of whoever you talk to next and whether they trust your intentions. Asking for forgiveness after the fact is a risky option.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I've been on both sides of the coin. I got a big dressing down by a F&W trooper for putting a moose down that was in the road in the days before cell phones. From that point on I just let them suffer and went on my way. A few years ago I was called by Troopers to put a moose down in the ditch to end it's suffering since it was going to be hours before the troopers go there. With permission I put the moose down and the charity came and got it. I know for a fact that charities have put moose down that were still kicking when they got there. If it were me I would note the mile marker and contact trooper dispatch as soon as I got cell signal. The troopers or the charity will come and finish the job if it needs to be done.
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    How would this sound. For the sake of the animal put it down. For public safety since it was small enough pull it off the road so no one else hits it. And since it was so remote and will be recouped by mother nature be on your way, knowing you did the right thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowman1979 View Post
    How would this sound. For the sake of the animal put it down. For public safety since it was small enough pull it off the road so no one else hits it. And since it was so remote and will be recouped by mother nature be on your way, knowing you did the right thing.
    To add; sometimes it is best to do what is right then and there rather than what the law stipulates, particularly when safety is an issue. In the event posted by the OP he is/was/would be the only one to know.

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    Here is the article I was referring to earlier in the Newsminer on this subject.

    http://www.newsminer.com/view/full_s...e-on-a-highway?

    There are multiple angles they could prosecute someone for if they didn't have prior permission. I am not one all that interested in putting my fate into another's hands by acting first and hoping they agree with my assessment later.

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    I had a friend earlier this winter call me up screaming at the top of her lungs about a car hit moose in the road. I asked her what was wrong and she was screamed that this trooper came to 'dispatch' the moose with his pistol and shot it 5 times and didn't kill it. He then walked back to his trooper rig, grabbed a shotgun and plugged the moose with it. She couldn't believe how incompetent he was with regard to ending the animals suffering and she was really upset by it.

    As badly as I would want to put it down, I'd have to agree with most of the guys on this one. The majority troopers would be more than happy to issue a citation for your actions.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    I found a whitetail off the highway 30yds. it had a large muddy hole dug with its front feet and looked to have been there a long time.
    I was in a state that I did not know the laws on this.I sat down and looked at it for a while ,then could not walk a way.I shot an arrow though it's lungs ending it's suffering then picked up my arrow and sadly walked away .The starving thing had no meat to save.
    Peace of mind is my goal in life with out regrets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    To add; sometimes it is best to do what is right then and there rather than what the law stipulates, particularly when safety is an issue. In the event posted by the OP he is/was/would be the only one to know.
    I agree wth you whole heartedly. Sometimes legal law when followed to the letter is BS. If an LEO can use discretion in citing a person whom broke a so called law, the law biding citizen whom is acting in "good faith" should be able as well. Happens all the time. Every state has their common Boston Blue Laws so to speak to have a law on the books to use for Probable Cause in case something gets out of hand. Just dot your I's, Cross your T's document your actions including photos or video and for God sakes get a witness along with all their information and do what you need to do to sleep well at night. BTW, retain that documentation for your own protection. Don't surrender it on your own. Its for a lawyer to use to defend you if you get cited. Allowing an animal to suffer due to uncontrolled circumstances is inhuman, ie being remote with no communication or could cause injury to others. If you get a little heat over it, make it a public issue and I am sure you will get the support you need to take care of the situation. There is a big difference between poaching and dispatching an animal that is suffering from a human mechanical inflicted fatal injury. Your not gonna get an LEO to agree with me officially in a public forum, but one on one would agree with me. Unfortunately, there are a few primadona's out there with a chip on their shoulder that can't make a common sense call and hide behind the letter of the law. Usually those end up with a day of reckoning eventually or wash out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    I agree wth you whole heartedly. Sometimes legal law when followed to the letter is BS. If an LEO can use discretion in citing a person whom broke a so called law, the law biding citizen whom is acting in "good faith" should be able as well. Happens all the time. Every state has their common Boston Blue Laws so to speak to have a law on the books to use for Probable Cause in case something gets out of hand. Just dot your I's, Cross your T's document your actions including photos or video and for God sakes get a witness along with all their information and do what you need to do to sleep well at night. BTW, retain that documentation for your own protection. Don't surrender it on your own. Its for a lawyer to use to defend you if you get cited. Allowing an animal to suffer due to uncontrolled circumstances is inhuman. If you get a little heat over it, make it a public issue and I am sure you will get the support you need to take care of the situation. There is a big difference between poaching and dispatching an animal that is suffering from a human mechanical inflicted fatal injury. Your not gonna get an LEO to agree with me officially in a public forum, but one on one would agree with me. Unfortunately, there are a few primadona's out there with a chip on their shoulder that can't make a common sense call and hide behind the letter of the law. Usually those end up with a day of reckoning eventually or wash out.
    But therein lays the rub. Many, many animals are hit by vehicles and are not wounded to the point they need to be put down, and in many cases it's open to interpretation/debate as to the extent of an animals injuries. Ask any midwest deer hunter how many deer they've dressed out and found old bullets / broadheads, injuries from being hit by cars etc. and those deer for the most part were none the worse for the wear. I've seen deer with three legs keeping up with their herd just fine. My point is, the LEO will contest in most cases that any given average Joe isn't qualified to determine whether a moose that was hit by a car is injured to the point that it has to be put down...and you won't win that fight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    But therein lays the rub. Many, many animals are hit by vehicles and are not wounded to the point they need to be put down, and in many cases it's open to interpretation/debate as to the extent of an animals injuries. Ask any midwest deer hunter how many deer they've dressed out and found old bullets / broadheads, injuries from being hit by cars etc. and those deer for the most part were none the worse for the wear. I've seen deer with three legs keeping up with their herd just fine. My point is, the LEO will contest in most cases that any given average Joe isn't qualified to determine whether a moose that was hit by a car is injured to the point that it has to be put down...and you won't win that fight.
    Good Point, but to be honest, the average LEO is not a trained Veteranarian either. How many so called road stikes are nursed back to health. It takes time, money and resources to pull off such a feat. Normally those that are saved is due to public pressure in a high profile situations. My wife also witnessed a road kill she called in with an LEO attempting to dispatch a moose with his service pistol, emptied a clip, went to his patrol car, took out his shot gun and finished the job with rush hour traffic on the Glenn Hwy. It was his first road kill. He had more adrenaline rolling through his veins than her first legal kill, according to her statement. When she called to complain of how it was handled, it was washed under the carpet. I don't have a chip on my shoulder, I use to be a LEO. Granted I was a Military LEO but all my experience was actual LEO work and not field duty and the many other duties MP's perform. I currently work with many retired State and Federal LEO's and basing my reply on personal experience and based on many so called war stories I've heard for the past 12 years of working with them including this same topic. They are human people also. Again, they will never agree in a public forum cause every Tom Dick and Harry would start shooting and hide behind, "well he said". There are many citizens that can't make a good judgement call as in "is the animal really injured, is the moose posing a threat to others so called on comming traffic (is it better to dispatch and pull off the shoulder of the road or let an other vehicle hit it causeing another accident), will my "kill shot" present a risk to the public causing further damage or injury, etc.... The devil is a great advocate. The decision to do the right thing rely's on "are you actually capable to doing the right thing". Again, document everything. The discriptive pen is a mighty sword.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    FYI - I spent some time last summer with a man that used to be one of the guys Troopers called to pick up moose from Hope or Seward highways back in the 1970's.

    Moose are typically not too badly injured by the car, but break their pelvis easily if they hit the road surface or are hit in the hind quarters. This opinion he based on a couple hundred roadside butcherings. Moose that could not get up and walk away on their own just after being hit had a broken pelvis and needed to be shot. A moose that could get up and walk away might have broken ribs or legs and would probably die the next day or two or live for a long time if a bear didn't get them in the spring.

    Every live moose that staid down on the road and could not get up on its own was found to have a broken pelvis. It is not something a vet can fix. You do need to give the critter a half hour or so to get its head clear and move on. If its still laying on the road while you stand there next to it, it is not going to live.

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    I ran into this about 4 years ago, A motorhome hit a calf on the south side of Tenderfoot, the moose's back was broken and it was in the middle of the road, stopping traffic both ways. I have dispatched them before to put them out of there misery. I did'nt have a gun with me at the time so I was stopping people that were ( Hauling Boats ) and asked If I could borrow a gun, lol, not one of them had a gun, (Right), no cell phone reception, and had an appointment to get to. The guy that hit it did'nt want to move, so I told them I would call as soon as I got a signal. Called the Troopers a couple of miles later and they asked if I had a gun to dispatch it and get it off the road, lol ,Said no tried to do that but nobody wanted to get involved because of the laws and I was on my way to a doctors app. They said they would then try to get someone out there. Don't know what happened after that. It was gone 6 hours later when I came back through.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    had a friend earlier this winter call me up screaming at the top of her lungs about a car hit moose in the road. I asked her what was wrong and she was screamed that this trooper came to 'dispatch' the moose with his pistol and shot it 5 times and didn't kill it. He then walked back to his trooper rig, grabbed a shotgun and plugged the moose with it. She couldn't believe how incompetent he was with regard to ending the animals suffering and she was really upset by it.
    You can fill a kicking adrenaline pumped moose full of lead and it may not quit kicking for a while. The moose I mentioned in my post above that I dispatched was a yearling calf. I smoked it through and through right below the right eyeball and out the left side and it kept dragging itself towards the woods, the next shot when in the back of the skull and out the front and it kept moving draggin itself towards the woods. I then punched it between the shoulder blades on the spine (I was above it and it was crawling) and that finally ended things. This was with a 30-06 and 180 grain bullets. I confirmed the path of each bullet and couldn't believe that thing kept moving.

    I've never been a mercy killing kind of guy. Moose die in much more horrific ways than dragging themselves off the road with broken limbs. Being devoured by a bear or wolves while still living has to be worse. The rules are in place for a reason and I will keep following them.
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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I would have put the moose down simple as that and used my vehicle to tow it to the side of the road. I've done it before. Some times if you stick around and leave it to the cops to take care of, you might get to witness them using a shotty with the wrong loads to kill the moose. Not such a quick method . . .

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I had a very similar thing happen to me. I posted this very question on the "Ask a Trooper" forum. So far, no answer. The cow I saw hit wasn't going to survive and needed to be shot. Fear of the law prevented me from taking care of business.

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