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Nome woman says she killed musk ox to protect dog; citation dropped to written warning

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NOME, Alaska — A Nome woman, initially given a citation for killing a musk ox out of season, said she acted to protect her dog.

The citation issued to Diana Adams after the July 17 incident was later reduced to a written warning. Beth Ipsen, a spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers, said this was done after consultation between the wildlife troopers, local district attorney's office and the state Department of Fish and Game. Ipsen said that marks the end of the case.

On the morning of the incident, Adams found a herd of musk ox in Icy View and called 911 after trying to chase them away. She later found them in her backyard.

"There was a musk ox off to my left. It was eating. I walked over; I yelled at it. It stopped, it looked at me and then it went back to eating," Adams said. She put three slugs into her shotgun and a round of birdshot as warning shot, she said.

Adams told KNOM (http://bit.ly/1o9zhPI) she fired a warning shot and kept yelling. She said when she saw one walk to her dog pen, and dip its head in the way she's seen them do in the past before they attack, she shot it.

Adams reported the incident and began processing the meat, which was donated to a local senior center.

She said she previously had been told by the city, Fish and Game and a state trooper that it is permissible to kill a musk ox to protect dogs. But she said she was told after the shooting that this was not a case involving defense of life and property.

"I was told that the pen itself did not constitute property under the defense of life and property regulations. I was told that a garden area or landscaping did not constitute protection of property. I didn't read the regs that way," she said.

There should be greater clarity around what constitutes a defense of life and property case, she said.

Days after the citation was issued, a dog in town was killed by a musk ox and a chain-link pen destroyed.


Information from: KNOM-AM, http://www.knom.org

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