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One thing that will get you into a lot of trouble up here really quick are game violations. This is the fifth story or so that I have read within the past year that I know of. We don't have game wardens, the State Trooper and Fed. Fish and Game Officers do the work. Any violation could be costly!

Hunters bag fines, loss of privileges
ILLEGAL: Men also get suspended jail time; another to be arraigned.


Daily News Staff

(Published: January 11, 2003)
Two out-of-state hunters and an Eagle River man received heavy fines after being found guilty of several offenses committed during a hunt in Western Alaska last September, Alaska State Troopers said Friday.

A second Eagle River man who was the party's guide was also charged in the case and is due to appear in Aniak District Court later this month, troopers said.

Matthew Miller, 39, of Silverton, Ore.; Gary Hower, 42, of Kenmore, Wash.; and Anthony Justice, 35, of Eagle River were found guilty Thursday of various charges related to a Sept. 18 hunt on the Innoko River, according to troopers.

The men shot a black bear sow and its two cubs, as well as a bull moose that would have been legal to shoot for an Alaskan but not for an out-of-state hunter, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Miller received total fines of $17,200, he said. Hower received a fine of $2,500, while Justice was fined a total of $5,900.

Miller's privileges to hunt in Alaska were permanently revoked, while those of Justice and Hower were revoked for five years, troopers said.

The three men also received jail time that was suspended.

Jack D. Wagner, 69, of Eagle River has been charged with unlawful possession and unsworn falsification, troopers said. He is due to be arraigned on Jan. 21.

Besides the four men charged with hunting violations, a fifth man, John Will, was also present on the hunt, according to a criminal complaint filed in Aniak District Court. The court papers indicate Will is an Alaskan but do not give his hometown.

Will has not been charged.

Alaska State Troopers were alerted to the violations by a fellow trooper, Dara Scott, who told them that she had loaned her rifle to Justice and that he had killed a black bear cub with it, according to the court papers.

Besides state troopers, agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service participated in the investigation.
 

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WOW
I wonder if they confiscated their Rifles and what ever type of transportation they used .They sometimes seize Rafts ,Boats ,Atvs and Planes if they are used to transport illegally taken Game.
I sure wouldn't want to be going to court in the village Aniak. {WOW } I wonder what ever posessed them to shoot a Black Bear sow and the cubs .The Moose was probably due to antler size restrictions and it is
a common violation. unguided nonresidents and residents often make this mistake. But it sounds as if they had a guide and boy what a mess they are in. Hey Dave they are in something deeper than THE SNOW AT YOUR HOUSE. :)
Dabigmoose
 

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Yes they take gear.

Before I moved to AK back sometime in 98 I think, a outdoor show host shot a record caribour and showed the film on the show. As it works out the caribou was taken in an area where, "same day flying", was not allowed. The guide lost his plane(s), the hunter can't hunt in AK again, money fines and then the hunter had to do some ungodly amount of community service.

I am always polite to the game people! :grin:
 

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I found it!

In Federal Court With Buck McNeely

Here's some information to update you on what happened in federal court as a result of Buck McNeely and a hunting partner taking caribou the same day airborne in Alaska, which was mentioned in the last issue---''DO THE SHOW---SCREW THE RULES!''

On February 23, 1999, AUSA Robert C. Bundy announced in Anchorage that a federal trial jury convicted licensed big game guide James M. Fejes, owner of ``Tracker Guide Service'' of three federal felony charges in connection with his involvement in the provision of same day airborne caribou hunts to nonresident trophy hunters in August 1996.

Fejes was found guilty of conspiring with his employees, Blaine A. Morgan and William M. Vollendorf, Jr. (both Alaska residents) and Jon S. ``Buck'' McNeely, of Cape Girardeau, MO, to violate the Lacey Act, and with two felony violations of the Lacey Act. The jury also forfeited Fejes' Supercub airplane, finding that it had been used to aid in the commission of the violations.

Evidence presented in four days of testimony showed that Fejes provided McNeely with a caribou hunt in exchange for exposure of his guiding business on McNeely's syndicated television show ``The Outdoorsman with Buck McNeely.'' During the hunt, McNeely and another paying client, Michael Doyle of Minnesota, each killed a caribou on the same day they had been flown to spike camp locations and guided on hunts by Fejes or one of his employees.

An Alaskan state law which is well understood in the guiding community and intended to promote the practice of fair chase, prohibits hunting on the same day that a person has flown in an airplane. McNeely produced an episode of his television show based on the hunt, which had aired twice. ``Alaska's wildlife is a precious resource,'' said Mr. Bundy. ``When licensed guides, who are supposed to be stewards of that resource and representatives of the state to our sport hunting visitors, participate in the illegal taking of our wildlife for commercial gain, they will be prosecuted vigorously,'' he added.

Prior to the trial, on February 8, McNeely pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Lacey Act in an agreement requiring him to pay a fine of $15,000, forego hunting in the United States for one year, produce a public service announcement about ethical and legal sport hunting for airing on his program 13 times and abandon to the government the rifle and caribou trophy mount connected to his violation. He has not yet been sentenced.

Assistant guides Morgan and Vollendorf, as well as hunter Doyle have also pleaded guilty to Lacey Act misdemeanor charges in connection with their roles in the hunts. Fejes told the two men not to tell anyone they were going to fly and hunt the same day. The two hunters were flown out to hunting areas, and each took a caribou the same day. McNeely paid Fejes for his services with advertising on his show. Michael Doyle's plea agreement terms are one year probation, $1,000 fine, forfeit his rifle and scope along with his caribou trophy and to cooperate with advertising on his show. Blaine Morgan (assistant guide on Doyle's hunt) plea terms---cooperation with the government and open sentencing. William M. Vollendorf, Jr. (Pilot during McNeely hunt) plea terms---$5,000 fine (he gets his Supercub back), no agreement as to sentencing.

Three aircraft were seized which were used to aid in the commission of the offenses. Fejes' Cessna 185 and Supercub and the Supercub owned by Vollendorf. The jury forfeited the Supercub used by Fejes, but there remains to be determined by U.S. District Court Judge Holland, in an ongoing civil forfeiture case, whether Fejes subsequently had that Cub converted into a different Cub with a new registration number and frame data plate (which is the aircraft seized by agents).That question has spawned a separate FAA investigation of the aircraft repair station that did the work.

Between the two proceedings, a ruling will eventually be made on whether the Cub will be forfeited or returned. A civil forfeiture case against Fejes' Cessna 185 is also ongoing. Agents in Anchorage and Fairbanks spent considerable time last Fall looking for a plane that no longer existed due to the changing of the registration numbers on the plane involved in the violation.

Fejes will be sentenced by District Court Judge H. Russell Holland on April 23, 1999. Congratulations for a job well done by the Alaska State Troopers who initiated the investigation, Joseph Bottini of the U.S. Attorney's Office and Bob Anderson of the DOJ/Wildlife Division for their work in the prosecution of the case, Jill Birchell case agent and the other Special Agents involved.

And a ``Thank You'' to the informant who started it all, wherever you are, for without people like you, we would not be able to bring cases like this to a successful conclusion!
Submitted by Jerry Cegelske, Fairbanks, AK
 

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:eek: i Remember seeing that in the papers
what a mess they got into over a overgrown Reindeer
they must of been awful hungry or had awful big Egos!
dabigmoose
 

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Poachers

Why would anyone kill a sow and her cubs?

Seems like the illegal taking of game is all too common these days. I suspect Law enforcement barely touches the tip of the iceberg as it's very tough to catch such people.

I not too long ago went to assist a game warden here in Arizona who caught a couple of "hunters" with the hind quarters of an untagged elk rattling around in the back of their pickup. They had tags too. They were cited and one tag was confiscated, but that's all. The game warden wanted to do more, but couldn't at the time without more investigation. Went to the kill site. All those gooberheads did was cut off the hind quarters - didn't even take the backstraps - left the rest to rot. Didn't even gut the poor thing. The "hunters" admitted to shooting at least seven times at the elk herd. One fell, but we were pretty sure they wounded others. The game warden was planning to get horses and follow up the trail. Oh, saw the "hunters" driving the 4WD dirt tracks "hunting" the area the next day. Didn't see the game warden again as we left the area, so don't know what happened after that. Got my elk anyway - on foot fair chase, one shot, .35 Whelen.

It appears most states don't seem very inclined to impose stiff penalties for such actions, so there isn't much to deter anyone from doing it other than personal integrity.

Rocky
 

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wildlife enforcement

Well Dave you over simplified a little. Alaska may not have game wardens per se, but the State Troopers have Wildlife Enforecement Officers - with full trooper authority but specializing in fish and game enforecement. There are a number of really good officers in the division. A couple are good friends of mine. The head guy at Aniak is top notch - was a big help to me in my working days, and there is a retired guy living there who was one of the very best - tough as nails, scared of NOTHING, an excellent pilot , and very spoken too. We have a good batch of officers in the Bristrol Bay area too. Lots of folks in that area are quite poor and definiely dependent on subsistence - they turn in creep hunters in a jiffy. I wonder if those clowns were going to sell the bear gall bladders.

They got caught and I'm glad to see the publicity.
 

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You may not be aware that several western states have a receprocity agreement. If you get your hunting priveliges suspended or revoked in one state the suspension and revokation applies in all participating states.

I don't know which states participate, but what does it matter if you play by the rules.

DD
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dand

Yea I simplified it a bit. It is kind of like back in NY, the game wardens go through the same training as the state police but aren't treated the same. The only two I have ever met were here in Valdez out on PWS. Never met any in the bush except for of all things, 2 fed. fish and game, 36 miles outside of Unakaleet. I forgot to put my new lisence in my pack and had 2 caribou on my dog sled. They were OK about it though, opting to do a computer check back in Unk. Lucky!

I was subsistance hunting for the teachers in the village at the time.
 
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