Imagine this call.
“Hello, Moose Federation.”
“Yes, I’d like a moose, no antlers.”
“Ok. We’ll be there in 30 minutes or less, if not, it’s still free.”
Something along those lines is taking place across Alaska under the state’s moose salvage program.
In the past, charities who applied to receive good-eating, road-kill moose would have to respond to the scene for pickup and do the recovery work themselves while state troopers monitored the scene. That was dangerous state police said, citing the worst example of two grandmothers taking nine hours ... learning how to butcher a moose ... in the fast lane of a highway ... during a blizzard.
Although there never was an accident among those salvaging a moose, the delivery program was implemented to remedy the prospect. After success in its pilot run, the state even provided $700,000 funding.
Basically, when a moose meets it demise on a roadway – Alaska had 600 such incidents reported last year -- state police call the Alaska Moose Federation hotline, which dispatches a flatbed truck driven by a volunteer. That driver contacts the next recipient on their list of food banks, charities or families in need who applied, and gets directions where to drop off the moose.
The rest is up to the recipient.
In one snowy stretch in early February, volunteer drivers were called to remove 17 moose after collisions in a 24-hour period. Ah, getting ready for the Super Bowl.
The program has been win-win for Alaska, and nobody has ever complained, “Hey, my moose is cold!”
For more on the subject, read Jenny Newman’s report in the Homer Tribune or go to the Alaska Moose Federation.