An Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist has been charged with two violations related to a moose hunt last August. Jason Herreman, 33, was charged with taking moose using illegal methods or means and unlawful possession of game, both minor offenses. Herreman is the Kenai assistant area biologist for the Homer office of Fish and Game, but has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his case, said Kenai area biologist Jeff Selenger.
Herreman has not yet been served with charges, but intends to plead not guilty, said Myron Angstman, his Anchorage attorney.
According to a complaint by assistant attorney general Arne Soldwedel and based on an investigation by Alaska Wildlife Trooper Trent Chwialkowski, Herreman had gone hunting on Aug. 23 and shot a moose near Anchor Point but lost it. The state alleged that on Aug. 24 Herreman went back to search for the moose and had an air taxi pilot help him search for it. The pilot had limited radio communication with Herreman, the complaint said, and later reported his activities to wildlife troopers. Chwialkowski said he went to the area and found Herreman packing out the moose. The trooper said Herreman admitted shooting a moose on Aug. 23 and shooting what he believed to be the same moose on Aug. 24.
Angstman called the incident “an unusual circumstance.” He said state law allows hunters to use any reasonable means to track down and salvage a wounded animal. Salvaging an animal using radios and aircraft versus not salvaging an animal also has to be taken in the context of wanton waste of a game animal, he said.
“This is a not a case of ‘he said, she said.’ This is a case of an interpretation of the law,” Angstman said. “Really, this is a dispute that needs to be resolved by the court.”
As a minor offense, if the case goes to trial it would be tried in front of a judge and not a jury. No court date for Herreman’s arraignment has been set.