Alaska moose hunters facing years in jail for taking antlers, leaving behind meat

Two men from Massachusetts are facing criminal charges after cutting the antlers off a moose and leaving behind the body on a recent hunting trip in Alaska.

Matthew Kelley, 42, and Michael Dagilus, 44, could end up serving years in jail for what the state prosecutor is calling “one of the worst Fish and Game violations the state has seen this year,” KYUK reports.

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Kelley and Dagilus were dropped off for an unguided hunt near Bethel by Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures last week. But when they were picked up on Sunday, Renfro's employees noticed the moose meat the men had harvested didn’t match up with the antlers they were carrying and reported them to local authorities.

“Investigation indicated [Kelley] had taken a smaller bull moose on [Thursday] and then on [Sunday] took a larger bull moose, removing only the antlers from the second moose,” according to Alaska Wildlife Troopers.

Both men were charged with a misdemeanor of wanton waste of moose meat, KYUK reported. Kelley was also charged for killing more moose than is allowed for non-resident hunters, which is limited to one antlered bull in game Unit 18, unlawful possession and transportation of big game meat, failing to validate his moose harvest tickets and failing to affix his tag to the moose.

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Kelley could face up to four years in jail and a $100,000 fine, while Dagilus could be sentenced to a year in jail and a $25,150 fine.