- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

NOME, Alaska (AP) - A Nome hunter has killed a muskox in a subsistence hunt targeting animals near the community.

The state Department of Fish and Game received a call about a musk ox in the community and alerted the five people who hold permits for the hunt that opened Aug. 1, KNOM-radio (https://bit.ly/1pdX0gW) reported.

“We responded to a muskox that was close to town, and it was just a unique opportunity - now with the regulation change that we made - for the hunter to harvest this animal,” said biologist Tony Gorn. “The hunter became aware that it was there and went out and got it.”

It was not the same animal that some residents have blamed for aggression toward people and pets, Gorn said.

He remains skeptical that the hunt move musk oxen away from Nome.

“It’s going to be very difficult to identify,” he said. “With or without hunting, we’ve had muskox in the Nome area for several years and they come and they go all by themselves,” said Gorn. “It’s going to be very difficult to say we killed one muskox bull and now our problems are over, or we killed five muskox bulls and all our problems are over now.”

The hunt may eliminate problem bulls but the bigger challenge will be a long-term solution.

“This idea - and I know there’s a lot of frustrated people in town but - this idea that Fish and Game can somehow create a muskox free zone around Nome - it’s going to be difficult, if not impossible, to do,” he said.

The latest attack on a pet occurred last week.

Monica Gomez said her children and a friend, Taylor McDaniel, were running with the dog on Anvil Mountain when the animal ran into the fog. The children got into their truck to go look for the dog.

“About 10 minutes later we heard yelping, and we were just honking, figuring she would come to the truck if she heard it,” McDaniel said. “About five minutes later, she came up to the truck limping with blood coming down her rear thigh.”

The dog needed 13 stitches but is recovering.

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Information from: KNOM-AM, https://www.knom.org

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