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Thread: Dumb Question: Do I need a guide to be flown in and dropped off?

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    Default Dumb Question: Do I need a guide to be flown in and dropped off?

    I'm in the preliminary stages of planning a hunt. My partner and I each drew the DM 769 and plan on floating the Wood, to the Tanana, to Nenana, or maybe even get picked up by jet boat at the confluence of the Wood/Tanana.

    Like most, we are on a small budget and want to explore that part of the state. We will be using inflatable canoe rafts (PP's). Right now I have the following options available:

    1.) Fly in and get dropped off with gear on the Wood. (This is my main question)
    2.) Have a jetboat or airboat get us as far up the Wood as possible and float down from there.
    3.) Float from Big Delta to Salcha and hunt the eastern bank inland.


    Mostly, I was wondering if we could pay someone with a cub to drop us off along with our gear that wasn't a guide. Is this legal to pay someone for gas and their time? I know the river guiding rules are pretty stringent. I've never done a fly in hunt and am really unfamiliar with the rules. I've gone to a lot of air tax websites and it seems really expensive to do a fly out trip (3k-ish). In my research I've seen some great advice given by both Mike Strahan and Moose. I may give them a call.

    I'm not much of a trophy hunter and will harvest the first legal moose I can with my any-bull tag. Just trying to do this for the most reasonable price.

    Also, I'm a former Kenai River guide. Definitely open to taking some people out fishing so that I could have a captive audience while they explain some plausible interior float hunting options to me. *wink* *wink*

    Also, thanks to all the contributors on this site. I'm mostly a lurker, but I really do enjoy reading the stories of hunts gone well, or awry, they are truly captivating!

  2. #2
    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    No - not for moose.
    Tony

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    No, it isn't legal or no' it's fine?

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    As long as you're a resident, you do not need a guide.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    While it's true you don't need a guide, it is also not legal to pay a private pilot for their gas and time. In order to take compensation for flight, a pilot has to have a commercial license. As a private pilot I am required by regulation to at least pay my share of the fuel. So...if I were going to drop off a friend, he could pay no more than 1/2 of the expenses and would not be able to compensate me for my time.
    Last edited by Brian M; 04-02-2013 at 09:18.

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    Thanks Brian! I didn't know if the fact that we were going moose hunting could possibly blur the lines of illegal guiding.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingKatcher View Post
    Thanks Brian! I didn't know if the fact that we were going moose hunting could possibly blur the lines of illegal guiding.
    Again, it's all about compensation. I fly friends with me to go fishing and I take friends hunting and help them every step of the way, but I can't receive compensation for it outside of an equal split of the expenses. Still, if I take a friend hunting and teach him every step of the process, I won't complain if he chooses to break out a bottle of top shelf bourbon around the campfire that night.

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    Understood!!! I have a family friend that might be able to get us in there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    While it's true you don't need a guide, it is also not legal to pay a private pilot for their gas and time. In order to take compensation for flight, a pilot has to have a commercial license. As a private pilot I am required by regulation to at least pay my share of the fuel. So...if I were going to drop off a friend, he could pay no more than 1/2 of the expenses and would not be able to compensate me for my time.
    There is more to it than what Brian provides. However, the more important factor in Alaska is hauling hunters and their kills for hire. Supposed to be a "transporter" for that.
    There are 2 or 3 air services in Fbks that can legally fly you out to the wood. Yes it is expensive. The transporter requirement also applies to boats, etc.
    All that being said, If you have a buddy with a plane, there are legal ways to use him.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    And a 135 Air Taxi (to be a transporter)
    A commercial license doesn't do anything without a certificate to use it under.

    Or a guide "outfitting" you.

    I'd probably call Wrights.

    Off of the top of my head, I don't believe there is any burden on the "customer". I think you can have anyone you trust haul you. Its that guy that will have to --lawyer up/lose his toys-- if he doesn't do it legally.

    Right?

    MT?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Thanks fellas. I should have added the disclaimer that my explanation was not complete, but rather that it was a basic answer to the question of whether you could pay a friend to fly you in for a hunt. I was not intending to cover the specifics of the FARs as it pertains to commercial operators, the details of transporter regulations, etc. Still, those are good details to be aware of if looking for less expensive alternatives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    While it's true you don't need a guide, it is also not legal to pay a private pilot for their gas and time. In order to take compensation for flight, a pilot has to have a commercial license. As a private pilot I am required by regulation to at least pay my share of the fuel. So...if I were going to drop off a friend, he could pay no more than 1/2 of the expenses and would not be able to compensate me for my time.
    This also apply to boats.

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    Is it still classified as a transporter even if we're just getting dropped off? No transport of game involved? (Boat or plane).

    If we just get dropped off and float all the way to Nenana, it seems like there would be an exception. It would be hard to get beyond "knowingly transports a hunter" which I'm assuming is written into the statute.

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    Yes still a transporter.
    Transport game or not.
    There's some bootleggers around like anything else. Their aircraft and/or personal qualifications don't meet the standard to haul passengers so may not be the best place to save $200.
    I'd call wrights. Still.

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    Member PacWestFishTaxidermy's Avatar
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    Why did the government feel the need to regulate private pilots getting paid to fly people? Buddy Holly

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    Quote Originally Posted by PacWestFishTaxidermy View Post
    Why did the government feel the need to regulate private pilots getting paid to fly people? Buddy Holly
    It was`nt the Gov it was the guide lobbyist

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    If you really care:
    Because Joe Q. Public kept getting killed by jumping in poor airplanes with poor pilots.

    It's FAA that regulated out the private pilot.
    Before the guide lobby, and its federal not state. State added on "transporter" status but you gotta be air taxi to get it.
    Blaming guides for everything gets kinda silly.
    Insert tin foil hat comment here:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Again, it's all about compensation. I fly friends with me to go fishing and I take friends hunting and help them every step of the way, but I can't receive compensation for it outside of an equal split of the expenses. Still, if I take a friend hunting and teach him every step of the process, I won't complain if he chooses to break out a bottle of top shelf bourbon around the campfire that night.
    Nice! Do you like Bookers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    If you really care:
    Because Joe Q. Public kept getting killed by jumping in poor airplanes with poor pilots.

    It's FAA that regulated out the private pilot.
    Before the guide lobby, and its federal not state. State added on "transporter" status but you gotta be air taxi to get it.
    Blaming guides for everything gets kinda silly.
    Insert tin foil hat comment here:
    Ok I put on my foil cap. One of many that I wear. I should have premised my statement a little better.

    What I meant to say was:
    All of the Federal FAA, Dept.of Commerce, Coast Guard and DOT laws and Regs pretaining to public transportation are good and well and very nessisary to protect public safety.

    Kingfishers "dumb" question was referring to being transported into the "FIELD" in pursuit of a Big Game species. In Alaska this activity falls under the Statutes and control of the State of Alaska Big Game Commercial Services Board and that was the GOV entity I was referring to.

    Anyone with the proper inspected equipment and credentials for operation and hire can transport anyone anywhere in the State of AK for almost any legal activity except Big Game hunting.
    Any taxi could give you and your guns a ride from town into the "field" to your favorite duck pond, your trap line, squirrl tree, rabbit patch or where ever.

    If along the way you or your driver spot a moose and pull over for a shot he would be in violation of BGCSB statutes if you had crossed into the "field"and he was not a State of AK licensed Big Game Guide or Transporter. Someone loobys to keep it this way and I don`t think its the Transporters.

    I just can`t type or spell so that's why I gave the short.
    Foil cap off
    Kingfisher it was not a dumb question I just gave a dumb answer sorry.

  20. #20
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Some clarification on "transporters" and part 135 air-taxis

    Quote Originally Posted by anonymous1
    Anyone with the proper inspected equipment and credentials for operation and hire can transport anyone anywhere in the State of AK for almost any legal activity except Big Game hunting.

    Any taxi could give you and your guns a ride from town into the "field" to your favorite duck pond, your trap line, squirrl tree, rabbit patch or where ever.


    If along the way you or your driver spot a moose and pull over for a shot he would be in violation of BGCSB statutes if you had crossed into the "field"and he was not a State of AK licensed Big Game Guide or Transporter. Someone loobys to keep it this way and I don`t think its the Transporters.



    Don't mean to be disagreeable here, anonymous, but this above isn't quite right. The way it works, FAA licensed part-135 air-taxis are not required to become state-licensed "transporters," even if they fly out big game hunters to the field. Quite a few of the more popular and well-known outfits that fly out big game hunters are in fact not "transporters."

    The way the BGCSB went about all this, they wanted to force any part-135 air taxi that flies out big game hunters to become "transporters," under the rationale they could then enforce certain future limits and restrictions and deal with any complaints against any bad apples. But they couldn't legally force all FAA licensed air-taxis to do that. So what they did, they came up with this statutory verbiage:
    Transportation Services – AS 08.54.790(10)
    “Transportation Services” means the carriage for compensation of big game hunters, their equipment, or big game
    animals harvested by hunters to, from, or in the field; “transportation services” does not include the carriage by
    aircraft of big game hunters, their equipment, or big game animals harvested by hunters
    (A) on nonstop flights between airports listed in the Alaska supplement to the Airmen’s Guide published by
    the Federal Aviation Administration; or
    (B) by an air taxi operator or air carrier for which the carriage of big game hunters, their equipment, or big
    game animals harvested by hunters is only an incidental portion of its business; in this subparagraph, “incidental”
    means transportation provided to big game hunters by an air taxi operator or air carrier who does not
    (i) charge more than the usual tariff or charter rate for the carriage of big game hunters, their
    equipment, or big game animals harvested by hunters; or
    (ii) advertise transportation services or big game hunting services to the public; in this subsubparagraph, “advertise” means soliciting big game hunters to be customers of an air taxi operator or air carrier for
    the purpose of providing air transportation to, from, or in the field through the use of print or electronic media,
    including advertising at trade shows, or the use of hunt broker services or other promotional services.

    I've bolded the relevant section that allows air-taxis to opt out of being licensed state "transporters."

    Note too that if someone here, as has been done in this and other threads, recommends a particular air-taxi, that doesn't qualify as "advertising" if that air taxi is not a "transporter." I don't mean to single out Wright's, but they are the perfect example, as they are not a licensed "transporter." They have been around a long time, have a stellar reputation and are typically booked up well in advance of hunting season to fly big game hunters to the field. (I can't say enough good things about Wright's, we've been using them for years for air charters.) They don't need to advertise "hunting." They charge hourly rates, the same rates to all, regardless of whether you are a hiker, rafter, hunter. Why would they want to pay extra in state licensing fees, have to file a lot more paperwork, fall under more ostensible future "transporter" regulations, if they didn't have to? I sure wouldn't.

    Plenty of air-taxis are in that same boat and choose not to become licensed "transporters."

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