The state is using a new application process to select recipients of big game killed on southern Kenai Peninsula roads as well as fish or game confiscated by authorities. The changes are supposed to improve the fairness and efficiency of the Road Kill Program.
Getting the call to come pick freshly killed game up from the side of the road is like winning the lottery in some parts of Alaska and dozens of Kenai Peninsula residents wait for their turn year after year. The lucky winners usually can expect an adult or immature moose, on occasion a bear and sometimes confiscated fish or game.
Casey Moss from the Alaska State Troopers Anchor Point Post says in the past the Road Kill Program has been criticized for being unfair.
“We get a lot of frustration from people saying, ‘so and so has gotten moose, after moose, after moose; and I haven’t gotten any.’ This is one of the other reasons we’ve changed the system a little bit,” said Moss.
Until recently applications to receive road kills went through the Homer Police Department. Moss says the department tried not to give the same people back to back calls and they tried to give animals on a first come first serve basis. But, the department only called people living within so many miles of a carcass.
“You have some areas like Black Water Bend where it seems like you get lots of moose hit in that area or in certain areas along the highway. People in that response area tended to get called more frequently,” said Moss.
Now the troopers are going to give Homer PD a break by taking on the bulk of the southern peninsula’s calls. Homer police will only be responsible for road kills within Homer city limits. The change means people who already applied through Homer PD for road kills have to put in a new application with the troopers.
“Their application is on the list until they receive a moose and then in that year they’re not eligible to receive another moose. They have to reapply in January of next year,” said Moss.
Moss says the troopers are changing how they decide who is called next. Now where you live is less important than how quickly you can get to an animal.
“We’ve kind of simplified it down to basically East End Road, Homer, Anchor Point, Happy Valley, Ninilchik, or Clam Gulch. As long as they can respond to one of those areas within 30 minutes they’ve got 30 minutes to respond to that area to receive the moose, or the game,” said Moss.
Moss says anyone who wants to be considered to receive future road kills can pick up applications at the Homer Department of Fish and Game office, the Homer Police Department and the Anchor Point state trooper post.
So far about 51 people have applied.