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Thread: homer taxi's

  1. #1

    Default homer taxi's

    Say I wanted to have one of the many homer taxi services take me across to a bay for a drop off to black bear hunt. Are they aloud to taxi me over there and pick me up without it being considered a guiding operation. Do I need to check and see first if whomever I choose have a transporters licence or is this not required
    just curious if this is something I need to be concerned about for next spring.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm pretty darn sure that they have to have a transporter license. HomerDave (a member here) runs a water taxi in Homer, but I seem to remember him explaining here last year that he could not legally transport hunters. It's a silly system, if you ask me - he can transport anyone regardless of what they're doing unless they're hunting.

    Perhaps I'm wrong, though. Dave? Care to chime in??

    -Brian

  3. #3
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Thumbs up here's the skinny...

    brian is right, if you are hunting big game you need to hire a licensed transporter. last year there were no transporters operating on the bay at all.
    next year i plan on getting a transporter's license. one of the things i have to deal with is that if i drop off hunters in the park i have to pay an extra $75 fee to the park per hunter. hikers are only $4. don't ask me to explain it.
    obviously i will have to tack on the cost to what is the usual taxi fare.

    i have been talking to our ranger here, who is very pro-hunting, and we have been working on the idea of a "tips page" for hunting in the park, because slowly but surely there have been more folks taking advantage of the opportunity, and in order to preserve it we need to educate hunters on how and where best to hunt in order to avoid user group conflicts.

    there is no reason to believe hunters can't exist along with the current high level of hikers and kayakers as long as they comport themselves ethically, don't leave a mess, and respect the rights of other users in the area.
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  4. #4

    Default homerdave

    Good to hear that you are planning on getting a transporter license. Im batting around a couple different ideas for spring Blackies and was just curious on what you would charge for me and my wife to run across the bay for a long weekend. Its my wifes first time hunting anything so this could be fun.

    AK

  5. #5
    Member Waldo2382's Avatar
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    Default kinda weird

    I think that transporter thing is kinda weird. What about those that take the ferry over to Kodiak or Seldovia to do some hunting at one of those places. Who says that I couldn't take the state ferry over to Seldovia, hike out of city limits and camp, shoot a bear and pack it back to the ferry terminal and go back to Homer? Will they deny me a ticket? I seriously doubt it. How about flying into Cordova on Era and hike outside of the airport to hunt? Perhaps there is something about dropping people off on a beach as opposed to a dock and landing on an "official airport" opposed to wherever else you might land. I'm sure I could find the information if I looked harder, but I'm in a lazy mood right now.

  6. #6

    Default A quick response.

    Waldo,

    It has to do with scheduled vs. chartered trips.

  7. #7

    Default

    Just tell Dave that you are going across the bay to pick blueberries. The rifle is for "Bear" protection. That way Dave isn't considered a hunting transporter, just a springtime freeze dried blueberry picker transporter. Isn't that legal Dave?

  8. #8

    Default

    If you are not primarily transporting hunters; incidental to your normal business, you are legal to transport hunters without a license.

    If your advertising drops offs and or transporting clients for a GUIDE then you are probably required to have a transporters license.


  9. #9
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Exclamation that's sure not what i've been led to believe..

    there is an exception for air taxi's, but i am not aware of one for small water taxi providers.. would like to see a link to the statute!
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    there is an exception for air taxi's, but i am not aware of one for small water taxi providers.. would like to see a link to the statute!
    Sometimes we must think for ourselves and it is OK to challenge authority.

    http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=3&gl=us


    Resource laws and regulations must have adequate justification; they must have a reasonable basis for distinctions they make among various users; they must put everyone on an equal footing.

    A Transporters license is one category/class license; not specific to any type or method of transporting. Right? One license covers all.

    Just like one guide license covers all. There is no guide license for a horse operation, or a boat operation or an aircraft operation. One license covers all.

    Horses, wheelers, snow machines, airplanes, a fishing vessel, skiff, water taxi,.........what ever it is that you do in the way of commercial transportation, if you are not advertising drop offs for HUNTERS AND it is incidental to your normal business AND you are not charging more than your usual tariff's you don't have to have a transporters license.

    The exception you speak of applies to every category/class of transporting.


  11. #11
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default you know, that didn't clear anything up for me...

    tell ya what, when it's your boat, your livelihood, and your fines, i'll watch what happens... until then, i'm gonna play by the rules as i interpret them.
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  12. #12

    Default Fair enough

    Quote Originally Posted by homerdave View Post
    tell ya what, when it's your boat, your livelihood, and your fines, i'll watch what happens... until then, i'm gonna play by the rules as i interpret them.
    I read this thread and the original post; geof116 wanted to hire a water taxi in homer to take him across the bay.

    Brian piped in and wrote he was pretty darn sure a water taxi would need to be licensed. Nothing backing that up; just his interpretation.

    You said Brian is right; you have to have one. Nothing to back that up either; just your interpretation.

    The thread reveals that water taxi's in homer do not have any drop off business to speak of; too busy with tourist I guess. And apparently no one is licensed or advertises drop off hunts, no one transports for guides, and it is assumed if they did take a hunter or two they would not charge more than there normal fee to transport a hunter as compared to a tourist.

    It follows to reason then that dropping a hunter or two would be incidental to the normal business of any of the water taxi operators in your area of operations.

    Now there is nothing wrong with your friendly "tell ya what, when it's your boat, your livelihood, and your fines, i'll watch what happens... until then, i'm gonna play by the rules as i interpret them."

    So in a friendly way; tell ya what........... Play it safe and lay back and watch what someone else does and then jump on board or report them to the LEO's or pat your self on the back at how smart you are when they get straightened out by the law or what ever; to each his own.

    But here in this thread; you affirmed Brian's post and then challenged my interpretation wanting me to show you the statute.

    I responded and thought I provide reason to justify my interpretation. But let me be try again and be a little more clear.

    Regulations are interpreted; and to do that a person has to consider all the relevant regulations and of course you must have an understanding of the Constitution; or at least the intent of resource law and regulation. In this case, in regulation there is no justifiable reason; no reasonable basis for the distinction between a water taxi and an air taxi.

    Accordingly; the air taxi exception applies to a water taxi. That is my interpretation.

    But, just to clear things up and prove me wrong would you mind showing me the statute where it says you have to have be a licensed transporter to solve goef116's problem.


  13. #13
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Angry regulations are "interpreted" by troopers...

    and i know how the ones down here interpret the tranporter regs... the same way the park does.
    so until such day as YOU want to hire a lawyer and challenge a BS regulation (hey.. i won't argue that!) i will find it cheaper to pony up for the transporter license.
    i am done with this argument.
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  14. #14
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    Default Totally Agree Avalanche

    There are guides who hire pilots without transporters license and they get away with it because its incidental to there business. You dont see fishing guides in rafts having transporter licence when they take them down the river. A couple of times I have had several water taxi's transport me, they just have to make sure they only transport and do not provide any other service. I would have to side with Avalanche, With the way I interpet the statute because it leaves room for interpetation. You also could call the licensing board and ask.

    Terry

  15. #15
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    I know of two hunters that went over this year and used one of Homers water taxi's service .
    You would of not known they were going over to hunt because everything was in one back pack along with their revolvers and the other back pack was empty that one was for the bear if they got one .
    They took one black bear and brought it back by water taxi again everything was in their back's and the taxi service had no idea they were hunting . They looked like all the other hikers .

    Last year My son and I took a water taxi over to the Glacier spit trail head and walked in to do a bear hunt and we did look like hunters .
    We took a 61/2 foot blackie and brought it back with the same taxi and the hide was not in a back pack it was sitting beside me tied up in a bundle and the meat was in game bags .
    The water taxi knew we were hunters and was looking for bear .
    He had no problem at all with us .

    RR
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  16. #16
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default better be careful here...

    Avalanche, with all due respect you never did provide the statutes. What you provided was a link to constitutional background.

    AS 08.54 is the statute covering big game guides and related occupations:
    http://touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/.../Chapter54.htm

    12 AAC 75 is the administrative code also covering big game guides and transporters:
    http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akst...chapter075.htm

    There is more (better) info in the BGCSB documents but don't have time to provide links to that now. The way many troopers interpret the transporter regs is that (for example) with boat-based transportation if you run a water taxi and you get a call and a couple guys say they want you to drop them off somewhere to go bear hunting...without a transporters license you can't do that. Now, if they just said they wanted to be dropped off somewhere to go camping or whatever, and never mentioned hunting, you can legally do that without a transporters license. There are reasons why the regs are like this, and I'm not at all saying I agree with them or that they are 100% clear, but anyone who runs a water taxi or boat-based transportation service who knowingly transports hunters to the field to hunt MUST have a transporters license. That is the way it has been explained to me and others by BGCSB, and while you and others are welcome to challenge that interpretation, and I understand why you would, I sure don't recommend that anyone with tens of thousands of dollars invested in a boat and licensing/insurance etc to take out hunters knowingly and then see how the chips fall. I don't want to argue this, just wanted to chime in in case any other water-taxi operators were reading this and felt that you were "right" and that they could thence knowingly take out hunters without any repercussions.
    Sincerely,

  17. #17

    Default Thanks Bush Rat

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Avalanche, with all due respect you never did provide the statutes. What you provided was a link to constitutional background.

    Remember, this thread is about water taxi; not just or generally "boat-based" commercial operators like
    live aboard or day trip commercial/sport fishing operations or fishing lodges with "guide boats" or rafting companies.

    Respectfully Bushrat; Yes, I provided the constitutional background link because in my view it is relevant to this discussion. So I view it is an inconvenient truth that Homerdavc ignored the point of me providing that link. Just for the record Bushrat; neither Brian nor Homerdave provided any justification for their interpretation, including links to the regs.

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    There is more (better) info in the BGCSB documents but don't have time to provide links to that now.
    If you are inclined to make the time, I would very much like to see this backup information that supports your MUST have position.
    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    The way many troopers interpret the transporter regs is that (for example) with boat-based transportation if you run a water taxi and you get a call and a couple guys say they want you to drop them off somewhere to go bear hunting...without a transporters license you can't do that.
    On many issues related to AS 08.54; [the statute covering big game guides and related occupations] even with the benefit of having 12 AAC 75; [the administrative code also covering big game guides and transporters] and professional law enforcement training specific to resource regulation and enforcement the Troopers are still left to interpret the law [when issuing or deciding not to issue a citation under a specific set of circumstances] and they don't agree with each other on every "issue"; not just transporter regs.

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Now, if they just said they wanted to be dropped off somewhere to go camping or whatever, and never mentioned hunting, you can legally do that without a transporters license.
    Don't ask don't tell? That is the policy for water taxi operators but a policy air taxi operators are exempt from?

    Seriously though, it is not believable that anyone is going to hire someone to drop them off and in the process not reveal the mission to the operator. I would not want to be the water taxi operator trying to explain the "don't ask don't tell policy" to the Troopers and be depending on the "client" to back me up.

    What you wrote might be viewed by others as encouraging hunters to withhold information from water taxi operators in Homer and advising water taxi operators how to avoid complying with the law by collaborating [don't ask, don't tell] with their clients in order to "get around" what you interpret is the requirement to [MUST] have a license.


    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    There are reasons why the regs are like this,
    I agree; reasonable justification is relevant to this discussion. I am just guessing here but probably there were no water taxi operators around and asking [justifying] for the same [equal footing] "exceptions" as the air taxi operators as specifically defined in the regulations? No water taxi dudes on the Big Game Commercial Services Board? No water taxi dudes on the Board of Game? No former or current water taxi dudes in the Legislature? No water taxi operators testified at public hearings when the air taxi exemption was being specifically considered?

    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    and I'm not at all saying I agree with them or that they are 100% clear, but anyone who runs a water taxi or boat-based transportation service who knowingly transports hunters to the field to hunt MUST have a transporters license.
    Boat-based (live aboard and the like) and water taxi's are different operations. This thread is about water taxi's.

    If you are a water taxi operator and you have followed this thread you might be understanding that your operation may be more like an air taxi than any other "boat-based" operator.

    You might understand why that is or could be an important (the critical) association.

    And even though NOT specifically stated in regulation either in the respect that you MUST have or that it is not required to have a transporters license to incidentally transport hunters; there could be justifiable reason that the exemption that applies to air taxi operation; more likely than not, does apply to your operation.


    Respectfully Bushrat,
    I suggest and think you might agree that water taxi operators not believe you, me, Brian or Homerdave but to take the discussion for what its worth and resolve it for themselves.

    I replied to your post Bushrat just in case any water taxi operators were reading this thread and wanted to see the other side of the coin AGAIN; the side that represents that they are very likely entitled to the same exception as air taxis.
    Cheers.





  18. #18
    Member Casper50's Avatar
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    Default

    Why not just call someone at F&G and ask? Get a name and be done with it.

  19. #19

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    Good idea but the department of law would might provide a more definitive answer.

    We could collectively agree on the question we want answered; submit the question in writing from the group who participates in developing the "question" and get an opinion in writing back.

    It would be a good exercise. From this exercise a protocol could be developed to follow when these type of issues come up.....good things could come out of such a simple idea.


  20. #20
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    I am a licensed transporter and water taxi operator in the Homer area. In order to transport hunters to their hunting destination (across the bay), you have to possess a valit transporters permit. It has nothing to do with what your primary business is, or whether the hunter harvests any game. We have had hunters claiming to be berry picking etc who are obviously hunting... a good rule of thumb is to not lie to those you entrust your life to. The $75 park fee does not apply to transported hunters, only to those that are guided on park lands. i.e. transporters are not allowed to accompany hunters in the field thus no commercial activity is taking place on park land. The state ferry does not transport people to their hunting destination any more than Alaska Airlines does, after reaching Seldovia you still need some form of transportation to your hunting area. A service used at that point would be required to have a transporters license. The bottom line is... use a licensed operator and don't lie to them. I hope this provides some clarity on the issue.

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