• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • ‘Drop the Cabbage, Bullwinkle!’: Alaskan Man Faces Prison for the Crime of Moose-Feeding

    Credit: Mark Newman Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom

    Credit: Mark Newman Stock Connection Worldwide/Newscom

    He was on his property, it was his cabbage to give, and no one claims that he meant any harm to his amply-antlered friends.  But 67-year old Samuel Becker is facing prison for giving visiting moose vegetables to munch on, reports Fox News.

    After receiving a tip last month that Becker had been feeding moose, Alaska State Troopers responded to the scene.  They claim that Becker fed moose on the day of their visit.  And so, Becker will appear in court on Feb. 3 to face a misdemeanor charge of intentionally feeding game.  He faces a fine of up to $10,000 and up to a year in jail.

    That’s right–a year behind bars.

    Enticing moose onto one’s land may not be a brilliant idea.  Moose can be dangerous beasts, as Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters explained to Fox News: “Even if they don’t attack you, your presence around them could agitate them, and it could make it more dangerous for somebody else passing by that might not even know the moose is standing there.”  It’s reasonable to discourage people from getting too close to moose with civil fines, but it’s beyond the pale to threaten them with jail time.

    Do we really think these are serious charges?  Isn’t the threat of heavy fines and jail an empty one?  If only this were so.  In 2010, retired Alaskan schoolteacher Charlie Vandergaw was fined $20,000 after he pleaded guilty to charges of illegally feeding bears.  Sure, it was stupid.  But a crime? Treating such infractions as crimes can ruin people’s lives.

    In the name of protecting Becker from the consequences of his admittedly questionable decisions, the state of Alaska is poised to inflict a far more grave injury.  The continued existence of such criminal laws represents more of a threat to our livelihoods, reputations, and liberties than unruly moose.  These criminal charges should be dropped and the matter should be resolved through the civil justice system.

    >>> Check out: 11 Inspiring Signs From the March for Life and Marching for the Dignity and Value of Every Life.

    Posted in Featured, Front Page, Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.