Guides Fined For Illegal Alaska Hunts

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bear Hunting Magazine

A 67-year-old guide from Alberta, Canada has been sentenced in Fairbanks, Alaska for two illegally harvested Dall sheep. The man led two hunting trips during which two undersized sheep were harvested.

The investigation surrounding the hammered horns has led to the convictions of nearly a dozen guides, and included convictions on failing to salvage all edible meat from a Dall sheep, possessing an untagged brown bear and guiding outside of an authorized area in ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge).

After a ten-month investigation the man pled guilty and was sentenced earlier this month in district court. After he admitted to taking two undersized Dall sheep, a judge ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine. He also was placed on probation for five years, during which he will not be able to hunt or guide in the United States.

The press release stated that the guide was a licensed assistant in ANWR, in 2008 and 2009. According to prosecutors, he guided a client from Colorado in 2008 who mistakenly believed a Dall sheep was large enough to be harvested. One of the sheep’s horns was less than the legal minimum full curl, the guide attempted to alter the horn by hammering on it with a rock. The exception to the full-curl rule is that hunters can kill sheep with horns that are broomed(broken off). This worked until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated and agents seized the horn from the Colorado resident.

Then in August of 2009, a client from Missouri mistakenly shot a ram with under-sized horns and the guide also altered the horn with a rock. This time, the horns failed the initial state inspection and were seized.

The man's employer was sentenced earlier for his part in the horn hammerings as well as other guiding offenses totally 34 felonies. The employer was ordered to pay $125,000 and barred from hunting or guiding for five years.

Both clients were sentenced earlier this year for transporting unlawfully-taken game. Each paid a fine of $10,000, were ordered to give back their mounts and barred from hunting for one year.

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