- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Two Fairbanks men have been charged with wasting game meat from a cow moose that authorities say was shot by a member of their hunting party.

Michael Paul Annunziato, 36, and William Perry Hughes, 44, were charged with wanton waste of big game. Annunziato also is charged with violating conditions of his hunting permit, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (https://bit.ly/1j5KXQr) reported.

Hughes told troopers that neither he nor Annunziato shot the cow moose that was not salvaged.

Prosecutors in a criminal complaint said Annunziato and Hughes were hunting with their sons on Aug. 16 along Chena Hot Springs Road east of Fairbanks.

Two witnesses saw a member of their hunting party shoot the cow moose that was with a calf, investigators said.



The witnesses said the moose ran into the forest. The men and their sons left and the witnesses recorded vehicle information and a description of the hunters.

Troopers traced the vehicle to Annunziato. He held one of 19 permits to hunt cow moose in the area. However, cows with calves were not legal to harvest.

A state parks ranger found the carcasses of both the cow and the calf near where the witnesses reported the shooting had happened.

The calf may have been killed by a bear, troopers said, but the cow had been shot. Other animals had fed on the carcasses.

Troopers recovered a bullet in the cow. They concluded that the .243 caliber bullet passed through the gut and into the left lung. The bullet was found lodged against the moose’s right rib cage.

Troopers on Aug. 18 interviewed Annunziato. He denied shooting a moose but acknowledged that he had hunted along Chena Hot Springs Road the day the moose was shot. He told troopers that he uses two rifles to hunt, a .270 caliber and a 7mm.

He refused to voluntarily provide his hunting rifles to troopers.

Troopers serving search warrants on both men’s homes in August said they found one youth break-action .243 single-shot rifle at each man’s house. They also found 10 other hunting rifles in their searches.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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