Troopers: Nothing suspicious in moose shooting in Ninilchik

Alaska Wildlife Troopers do not suspect any criminal activity in a June 12 moose shooting in Ninilchik.

“So far as I know, there’s nothing that looks illegal or could cause criminal charges to be filed in this case,” Sgt. Paul McConnell said.

The wildlife troopers believe the shooting was a legitimate defense of life and property killing, or DLP, he said. The person has a right to privacy because he acted within the law and was defending himself, McConnell said.

“I know there’s a lot of people down there that want to know who shot it, but we don’t release that to the public,” McConnell said.

Tom McCutchan Jr. said the public should have more information about the shooting.

“The way it is now, people are upset down here,” McCutchan said. “But we don’t know how upset we should be because we don’t know the circumstances.”

According to McConnell, the person who shot the moose was walking his dog in the area of Oil Well Road in Ninilchik when that person encountered the moose. The moose, with a calf in tow, approached the person and dog. The person then fell down and, fearful of being stomped, drew a gun and shot the moose, killing it.

A local charity salvaged the moose, but McCutchan said a gut pile sat at the end of Oil Well Road. He said it could have been a bear attractant.

“To me it’s quite the public matter when someone shoots a moose in the community like this,” he said.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game collected the 24- to 48-hour-old orphaned calf and distributed it to the Alaska Zoo for temporary holding. The calf will be transported to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio to live permanently, Alaska Zoo Curator Shannon Jensen said.

Wildlife troopers are still investigating the case, and they had not yet received the shooter’s DLP report, McConnell said.

“Fish and Game hasn’t raised any concerns,” he said. “From the reports I heard, I would have shot the moose (also to avoid being stomped).”

Dan Schwartz is a reporter for the Peninsula Clarion.