Alaska moose poacher fined $100,000, sentenced to jail

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man has been fined more than $100,000 for poaching three bull moose and leaving the meat to rot.

Thirty-nine-year-old Rusty Counts of Anchor Point also faces a jail sentence of nine months in prison for shooting the moose in September.

Prosecutor Aaron Peterson says the state sought hefty penalties as a deterrent to others.

None of the moose met a requirement that their antlers measure 50 inches (127-centimeters) wide to be harvested.

Peterson says if Counts had salvaged meat from the first moose, he likely would have been penalized for a single hunting violation and the meat could have been given to food banks.

Counts pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to 21 misdemeanor wildlife counts or violations, including wanton waste and exceeding bag limits. He was sentenced last week.

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