- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

HOMER, Alaska (AP) - A Homer-based Department of Fish and Game biologist will plead not guilty to charges that he violated moose-hunting laws.

Jason Herreman, 33, is charged with using illegal means or methods to take a moose and with unlawful possession of game, the Homer News (http://bit.ly/1pxBtfY) reported. The charges say he was aided by a pilot on the same day he shot a moose.

Herreman on Wednesday not been served with charges, but he will plead not guilty, said defense attorney Myron Angstman of Anchorage. Herreman in August shot a moose he had wounded the day before and was trying to salvage the animal, he said.

Herreman is area biologist for the Homer office of the state Fish and Game Department. He has been placed on administrative leave, Kenai area biologist Jeff Selenger said.

Alaska Wildlife Trooper Trent Chwialkowski investigated the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Herreman hunted Aug. 23, shot a moose near Anchor Point and lost it.

A day later, Herreman searched for moose and received help from an air-taxi pilot. The pilot had limited radio communication with Herreman but reported the incident to wildlife troopers.

Spotting moose from the air and shooting them the same day is illegal.

Chwialkowski investigated and found Herreman packing out the moose. Herreman acknowledged shooting a moose Aug. 23 and shooting what he believed to be the same moose on Aug. 24.

The case is “an unusual circumstance,” Angstman said. State law allows hunters to use any reasonable means to track down and salvage a wounded animal, he said. Using radios and aircraft to salvage an animal must be balanced against wasting it, 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.”

___

Information from: The Homer (Alaska) News, http://www.homernews.com

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