Alaska life

Two mother moose and their calves graze across the Chena Flood Control Project. 

Alaska State Troopers are looking for an individual who illegally salvaged meat from a moose that was hit by a car on Saturday. According to AST, the individual is suspected of committing a number of offenses, including failing to report the initial collision and removing the antlers, a piece of backstrap and a hindquarter from the felled moose. Troopers also issued a court summons to a Chatanika man for unlawful possession and transportation of a big game animal, after he salvaged the remaining parts of the moose.

According to a Trooper Dispatch, AST received a report of a bull moose hit by a vehicle near Mile 32 of the Steese Highway at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. An investigation revealed that someone hit the moose — which “likely” had large antlers — with a vehicle, and did not report the collision. A hindquarter, a piece of backstrap and the antlers had been taken from the scene of the collision.

After following “bloody footprints” to a home located nearby, the investigating trooper encountered Paul Potvin, 58, of Chatanika. Moose parts were found in the back of Potvin’s van, which was parked in front of his home. Potvin eventually admitted to taking the rest of the moose from the scene of the collision without permission. He was issued a summons for illegal possession and transportation of the moose, and was given a mandatory court date in the Fairbanks District Court scheduled for Dec. 12.

In an interview with the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, AST Spokesperson Ken Marsh said that he did not have data on how often meat is illegally taken from roadkill by passers-by, but added that he could “safely say that it happens occasionally.” 

Marsh explained that the reason it’s not a bailable offense is that, according to the state constitution, big game hit by a vehicle is property of the state of Alaska.

AST are now searching for the person responsible for the first theft of the hindquarter, backstrap and antlers from the scene.

Anyone with information on the theft is requested to contact the Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Fairbanks. If a cash reward is desired, the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Safeguard may be contacted at 1-800-478-3377. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may do so.

Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.