Home / Regulation / Moose Meat for Firewood — a Criminal Offense.
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Moose Meat for Firewood — a Criminal Offense.

Written by Gary North on January 24, 2012

The government knows a criminal transaction when it sees one. This is from Alaska.

The Fairbanks man who is accused of illegally trading moose meat for firewood is taking his case to court.

Chad Gerondale, 41, has hired well-known Fairbanks attorney Bill Satterberg to represent him in the “meat for heat” case, as it has been dubbed by online spectators. . . .

Alaska Wildlife Troopers last week issued Gerondale a summons to appear in court on Feb. 3 to be arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of illegal barter of game meat. Troopers issued a news release Friday stating Gerondale had been cited for agreeing to trade 125 pounds of moose meat for two cords of firewood.

Buying, selling or bartering of game meat, except snowshoe hares, is illegal. The one exception is caribou meat in northern and western Alaska (units 22-26) may be bartered, but the meat cannot be taken out of those units.

Gerondale allegedly offered to swap moose meat for firewood on the radio show, Tradio, which airs on KFAR 660 AM.

“The allegations are the guy was on Tradio and said, ‘I need some firewood and I’m willing to trade some moose meat,’” Satterberg said.

Trooper Ken Vanspronsen contacted Gerondale to make a deal and then showed up at his house and issued him a citation, Satterberg said.

He will get a jury trial. That should be interesting.

“Sometimes a good, solid warning for a person is sufficient,” Satterberg said. “If the intention of troopers is to educate the public, I guess this is one way to do it.”

Satterberg, a hunter himself, insinuated that trading game meat for fish and vice-versa is a common practice in Alaska.

“Most people don’t even think about it,” he said.

Sgt. Scott Quist with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers said trading game meat is illegal and troopers will investigate if they hear about it, whether it’s through Craigslist, Tradio, eBay or word of mouth.

“This is the commercialism of game taken under a sport hunting license and it’s not legal,” Quist said. “We don’t charge a lot of people with this, but if somebody is advertising it we will absolutely follow up on it.”

The jury must decide. Juries need not be bound by the law. They are autonomous. But attorneys are not allowed to tell the jury this.

As he reads the state statute, AS 16.05.920, Satterberg said even the offer of buying, selling or trading game meat is illegal.

“If you say, ‘I’ve got some moose meat; you’ve got some salmon, let’s trade,’ that’s a crime,” Satterberg said. “Simply making the statement is the crime. That’s a serious First Amendment question.”

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11 thoughts on “Moose Meat for Firewood — a Criminal Offense.

  1. When we all end up in thew stone age cuurtesy of BOH Iran, will these laws be recinded??

  2. EyesWideOpen says:

    It's time to lock & load and hunt other things!

  3. Bill McCroskey says:

    Send these AST to Arizona to find the hundreds of guns the federal government has put in the hands of criminals in their failed gun running sting, since they seem to be such brilliant detectives . Meanwhile ….. Rome burns.

  4. ARMAND PROULX says:

    SAD ISNT IT. THE JURY WHEN HEARING THIS CASE SHOULDD RULE FOR THE DEFENDANT SINCE THIS PRACTICE IS UNIVERSAL IN ALSKE IT HAS SET A PRECEDENT. NO CRIME COMITTED HERE. THE POLICE EVEN THOUG THE LAW IS ON THE BOOKS THEY HAVE IGNORED IT FOR YEARS THEREFORE THE LAW BECOMES NULL AND VOID IN MY OPINION.

  5. This is a gag right ? Seems like someone has misguided priorities to even have a law like this on the books . And to suddenly enforce a law that has been ignored for ages defies logic .

  6. No doubt SOMEONE has impounded the meat,they'll be eating well this Winter.

  7. A perfect example of a law that should be repealed. If legislators ever were to invest their time into common sense laws,
    they would be concentrating on getting rid of numerous archaic and illogical laws that are already on the books, rather than
    continually inventing new ones. Search for Etienne de la Boetie's "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude", written 500 years ago, and you'll see one of the most logical explanations of why people suffer under laws that create slaves of those who believe they are free and how simple it would be to break the chains of that self-imposed servitude. Get a dictionary out though, as many words are not in common usage today. Tacitus, a Roman historian and senator, stated a couple of thousand years ago "The more corrupt the government, the more laws." Looks like human nature hasn't changed. As for the "Jury" mentioned above, see http://www.fija.org and learn what 99+% of jurors are 100% ignorant of – their rights and responsibilities as a juror.

  8. betcha the jury finding is "Not Guilty", because most (jury of peers) will have done the same in the past, and likely will do so again, just not advertise…

  9. Its a stupid law – get rid of it.

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