Two Anchor Point men were charged Thursday with multiple trapping
violations after a wildlife investigation alleged they obtained lynx
in a closed season.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers issued a court
summons to Mathew P. Roderick, 36, and Leslie F. Mofford, 59.
Roderick is charged for allegedly trapping without a license, taking
a lynx in closed season, unlawful possession and transportation of
game, and failure to seal a lynx within 30 days of taking it.
Mofford is charged for one count of allegedly possessing game,
unsworn falsification and possessing an unsealed black bear hide.
On Nov. 30, Soldotna’s Alaska Wildlife Troopers received an
anonymous tip about the illegal trapping activity off Tall Tree
Avenue near Anchor Point.
On that afternoon, Trooper Trent Chwialkowski went to look and
found five different traps where each held baited rabbits, ravens,
chickens and lynx carcasses.
It is common in trapping the
lynx to use wings of birds baited with scents. The use of chicken
carcasses is legal, but not ravens and eagles.
“At one of
the trap sets, I located a dead eagle located approximately 25 feet
to the west … lying under a spruce tree,” the trooper wrote in
charging documents. “The talons had been intentionally removed.”
On Dec. 6, Chwialkowski returned to the set locations and
removed eight traps, containing chickens, lynx carcass, and the
eagle and raven for evidence.
The charges say Roderick had
trapped a lynx during a closed season and without a trapping
license. Roderick, along with his son, had also harvested two lynx
under legal hunting openings, while hunting during that same time
frame, and failed to seal either animal within 30 days as required.
Roderick unlawfully possessed the alleged illegally trapped lynx and
later transported all three hides to Mofford’s residence.
January, Mofford, who had lawfully trapped three lynx of his own,
took all six lynx hides to Homer Fish & Game and allegedly falsified
the fur-sealing record by claiming he trapped all six lynx outside
of Ninilchik in January. During the investigation it was also
revealed that Mofford had possessed an unsealed black bear hide.
Roderick was granted a Ninilchik Native Association permit to
legally hunt and trap on the land off of Talk Tree Avenue. But
trapping there wasn’t to begin until Jan. 1. In interviews with the
officers, Roderick drew a map and placed marks where he and his son
had placed traps, and these were verified by the trooper who
On one of his trips to check the traps,
Roderick found the eagle with its leg caught. He allegedly stated
that he shot the eagle in the head and placed it in a tree for bait.
He also admitted to catching two ravens and then using them for
bait, but he did not remove the eagle’s talons, he said.
Mofford is charged for allegedly sealing all six lynx at the Homer
Fish and Game office, claiming he had trapped all six off Brody Road
outside Ninilchik in January.
Arraignment is scheduled for
both on March 27 in Homer Court.
Separate federal charges
are pending for both the raven and eagle deaths.
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