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Thread: Guide / Transporter Ethics Requirements

  1. #1
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Guide / Transporter Ethics Requirements

    Hi folks,

    Last week I received a packet from the State of Alaska, containing the newest version of the Guide and Transporter regulation synopsis. In that same packet were two sheets outlining the professional ethics standards for Guides and Transporters. I was impressed.

    I thought a discussion of this part of the guide regulations would be fruitful here. Especially as it relates to aerial spotting of game, an issue I've discussed here and one which is covered in these regulations.

    In short, the regulation states that aerial spotting for a particular animal is illegal.This same regulation applies to both Guides and Transporters (air charters). Obviously it is difficult to prove that the circling airplane you see from a distance is a Guide or Transporter violating the law, but I'm glad to see the state making the effort to reinforce these standards by printing them out separately as a reminder.

    Below is the citation of the entire segment that was sent out. Sorry for the length.

    -Mike

    _______________________________
    12 AAC 75.340. PROFESSIONAL ETHICS STANDARDS FOR GUIDES. (a) Unethical activities. As
    used in AS 08.54.710(b) and this chapter in reference to a registered guide-outfitter, assistant guide, or class-A
    assistant guide, “unethical”
    (1) means failing to or being unfit to meet a professional standard of conduct that satisfactorily and safely
    implements, under field conditions, the knowledge, skills, qualifications, and judgment required for the license held;
    and
    (2) includes
    (A) failing to comply with the standards set out in (b) – (f) of this section;
    (B) failing to fulfill a condition or requirement established as a disciplinary sanction under
    AS 08.54.710; and
    (C) failing to fulfill the supervision, hunt participation, and other requirements of this chapter.
    (b) Compliance with law. All classes of guides shall
    (1) comply with applicable state and federal statutes and regulations; and
    (2) obtain prior authorization as appropriate before entering or remaining on private, state, or federal land
    during the course of providing big game hunting services.
    (c) Client and employee care standards. All classes of guides shall
    (1) take every reasonable measure to assure the safety and comfort of the client, including ensuring that
    during the hunt
    (A) adequate supplies are present to provide first aid for injuries that are reasonably expected in the
    field;
    (B) sufficient supplies are present to provide for emergencies, including food, clothing, and a source
    of heat; and
    (C) food and shelter are present that are normally considered satisfactory under field conditions;
    (2) avoid intentionally, recklessly, or carelessly exposing an employee or client to undue hazards;
    (3) advise clients and employees involved in a hunt of the applicable state and federal statutes and
    regulations relating to hunting, land use, wildlife, big game hunting services, and conservation;
    (4) ensure that the proper hunting licenses, hunt record, game tags, and harvest reports for the big game
    species being hunted are in the client’s possession before the hunt begins;
    (5) ensure that the appropriate tags are attached to any game taken by a client and all game is sealed or
    marked as required by 5 AAC 92;
    (6) advise a client before a hunt of the game population in the hunting area; and
    (7) provide remuneration in a complete and timely manner of debts or refunds owed to clients or
    contracting guides, or wages owed to an employee.
    (d) Field craft standards. All classes of guides shall
    (1) use every lawful means at the licensee’s disposal to bag a wounded animal while it is in danger of
    escaping, or, in a serious emergency, while human life or well-being is endangered;
    (2) barring unforeseen conditions, properly prepare according to generally accepted procedures, all antlers,
    horns, hides, and capes to be delivered to the taxidermist or to the client at the conclusion of a hunt in a satisfactory
    and unspoiled condition, unless the guide is providing only outfitting and transportation services for the client;
    (3) endeavor to salvage all meat of animals taken by clients, in accordance with state statutes and
    regulations;
    (4) except for brown bear, grizzly bear, wolves, and wolverine, transport the meat of a big game animal
    taken by the client in accordance with 5 AAC 92;
    (5) respect gear, equipment, food, shelter, and camps established by other users;
    (6) avoid staging unused or unattended camps and gear to discourage other users from utilizing a location;
    (7) allow appropriate buffer areas between hunters and camps so as to avoid disrupting hunts and hunting
    experiences;
    (8) avoid using an aircraft in any manner to spot big game for the purpose of taking a specific animal;
    (9) avoid utilizing, in any manner, global positioning system (GPS) or other electronic devices to assist in
    the taking of a big game animal; and
    (10) respond personally or through an assistant to requests for assistance communicated during the hunt; a
    contracting or employing guide must respond within a reasonable time based on the urgency of the request, weather
    conditions, and other safety factors.
    (e) Standards for cooperation with law enforcement officers and for conservation awareness. All classes
    of guides shall
    (1) cooperate with state or federal law enforcement officers;
    (2) provide any information to assist law enforcement or state and federal wildlife officials; and
    (3) practice sound wildlife conservation and create an awareness of conservation needs and practices when
    dealing with the public.
    (f) Standards of professionalism. A guide of any class may not
    (1) make guarantees as to the success of a hunt or the number of animals to be taken on a hunt;
    (2) shall provide supervision as required from a guide of that class, and make a good faith effort to make
    the verbal or, if applicable, the written client communication as required in 12 AAC 75.240;
    (3) if permitted to advertise or sell big game hunts under AS 08.54, may not advertise or sell big game
    hunts to be conducted solely on tidelands; in this paragraph, “tidelands” has the meaning given in AS 38.05.965; and
    (4) if permitted to advertise under AS 08.54, may not misrepresent services by false or misleading
    advertising.
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  2. #2
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    while i don't really think this ethics issue will slow guys from spotting sheep from the air, I'm glad they taken the time to address it. but i'm glad to also see dummy tents and encroachment on other guides/hunters addressed in the hand out.
    Glad to see someone cares, even if they can't/won't/don't have the money to enforce it.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Mike- This opened a bit of curiousity for me today, so I went and did my research on this topic. Am I to assume that anyone who opperates an air taxi (part 135) must have a Transporters license to transport hunters and their meat? If so, I unknowingly flew with two opperations this year that were breaking the law. I scanned through the list of licensed transporters and was amazed at how few there were and how many air taxis I knew and have flown with in the past are not on the list.

    Now, the first outfit I flew with this year, 40 Mile Air, did a stellar job of taking care of my hunt. They were beyond safe in their opperation and that was a pleasure. They very carefully explained that I would not be allowed to look for game on my way to my chosen landing sight. We flew straight to the strip and were dropped off. Our meat haul was handled very professionally, They insisted on hauling all the moose and antlers first..PERIOD. Our meat was placed in a meat locker and taken care of until we reached Tok the next day. It was a very positive experience and I will go back.

    On my Montague hunt it was an entirely different story. The group of hunters that occupied the FS cabin the week prior to my groups arriving left the day after we arrived. The air taxi hauled the hunters, gear and antlers first. They left the meat behind for six days while I was there until another aircraft came to recover it. Yes, the weather was part of it, but that is no excuse. There were also some other fishy things going on that the Troopers have contacted me about and we are discussing it at this point. I will say that temps were low enough to freeze the meat and that my partner and I kept it tarped for the entire time. There probably was no spoilage. While the hunt was successful for us and we had a ton of fun, this little bit of unethical treatment by the hunters and the air taxi of the meat bothered us.

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Yes, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    while i don't really think this ethics issue will slow guys from spotting sheep from the air, I'm glad they taken the time to address it. but i'm glad to also see dummy tents and encroachment on other guides/hunters addressed in the hand out.
    Glad to see someone cares, even if they can't/won't/don't have the money to enforce it.
    Brwnbr,

    The state may not have enough money to enforce it, but those of us who fly out to the Bush to hunt have all we need to turn them in. If that's what it takes to keep them honest, so be it.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i'm with you on that mike, the only down fall to turning guys in is very little is ever said or done after that. the bottom line i suppose is the same as its always been, rules keep honest people more honest and dishonest people become more dishonest.
    If there was a way that these changes would actually be followed i think it will be a great addition to the guide/transporter fraternity. and the overall apperance and acceptance of sport hunters as a whole.

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    i believe part 135 and transporter are two different things, i'm sure someone here can't straighten me out on this, but my understanding is that 135 don't have to fill out transporter logs, nor can they charge different rates for hunters, where as a transporter can charge 300 bucks an hour for charter time, but when they take a hunt they can charge 1500 per person even though it might only be three hours of flying, or 1 hour of flying and they have four people in the plane...see what i mean?
    like say i could be off a bit on my understanding as i'm not either one of these, but thats what i've understood.

  7. #7

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    Aircraft Transporter rules are simpler than boat based.

    Probably for 2 reasons... they were smart enough to lobby for them in the past, and now they're smart enough to be represented on the Commercial Services Board.

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    There is a LOT of money in the air-taxi / transporter business, they lobby well for there cause.

    Air taxi operator's have NO accountability to the conservation of wildlife.

    Air taxi operators are not required to stay within thier "guide area" like a registered [licensed] guide outfitter.

    Air-taxi operator's do NOT have to have commercial camp permit or assocaited insurance & use permits that a LICENSED guide/outfitter is required to have.

    An air-taxi operator is NOT held accountable for the actions of thier clients.

    It is EASY to become an air-taxi operator, some FAA paper work, appropriate pilot license, a plane, and some money. LOTS of money to be made with little exposure. Strickly from a business perspective [to make gobs of money] the air taxi buisness is a good "business".
    Becoming a licensed guide/Outfitter in the State of Alaska is very difficult, it takes a minimum of 5 years practical field experince guiding hunters, a written recomendation from the outfitter who you worked for, a written test ....that is becoming harder with the new regs, high cost insurance, a vaiable guide area, equipment, and the list goes on.....

    I've yet to meet a guide/outfitter that takes folks hunting because they're making gobs of money, guide outfitters are passionate people that choose to share the outdoors with other people. I have meet, and know, many air-taxi operator's that use the "buinsess" philosophy of make as much money as they can, there are numerous whiz-bang slick air-taxi operators that are responsible for taking LOTS of hunters, taking LOTS of game, and making LOTS of money.....the whole time NOT being held accountable for the conservation of our wildlife!

    These "new" regs that Mr. Strahan posted are not exactly brand new, but I'm glad he posted them.... they were in effect for this past falls' huntign season. We have been working on these regs for some time...in July 2006 they became law. These new regulations are not perfect, however we have to start somewhere. Believe me, it was a LOT of work to get what we have now on the books. Its a start. We also have more new regs being discussed currently, and next week in Anchorage the Big Game Commercial Service Board will meet to review & adopt some more changes. I support some of the new changes, other ones I don't support, and couple of the new regs being purposed I strongly disagree with.
    The system in Alaska, in regards to fish & game regs & big game commercial services board, is a very public process. I encorage anyone/everyone that has some issue to bring it before the board at the meeting next week.
    Monday December 4th, 2006, is the last day to submit written testamony, the good news is it can be sent via email jun_maiquis@commerce.state.ak.us
    If you miss the deadline for written testomony you can partisipate orally on December 12th, at the Egan center in Anchorage, 8:30am - 1:30 pm. To partisipate orally you must register and sign in...plan to show up early.

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    Link to more proposals currently being considered;

    http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/occ/pub/GUI1106.pdf

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    hows everyone feel about the proposal for specie specific guide licenses?

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default question on air-taxi/transporter

    Guys, I am getting very little feedback from BGCSB to questions I've sent in. I want to confirm why certain air-taxis don't need a transporter license. The way I understand it, if an air-taxi does not advertise specifically for hunting services, that they do not need a transporter license, even if they in fact do a large volume of hunting business annually. Can someone confirm that?

    When we pushed to reinstate the BGCSB, the push for many of us was that we needed more regs for air-taxis/transporters who were flooding areas with hunters, with no rhyme or reason, no care for over-use, overharvest, or any ethical standards. Yet last fall the same darn crap happened, with one air taxi or another dropping hunters on top of hunters, or what some consider too many hunters on any one drainage. Plus, the other idea was that these guys would have to fill out paperwork in advance and send to BGCSB so they could look it over and basically say, "Uh-uh...we've got too many hunters that are gonna be flown in to drainage X, or so-and-so strip in 20A " etc.

    So what's the deal? Are air taxis who transport hunters and their meat, but who don't advertise for hunting-related activities totally immune from meeting the transporter requirements, and even the paperwork to send in that says how many hunters they dropped off, how many were successful etc? Also, there are still some "transporters" I know of who are part 135 air taxis as well, and they charge an hourly rate, but when hunting season comes along, they charge whatever the heck they want, often exhorbitant fees. I also thought these new regs were supposed to outlaw that kind of practice, so why is it still going on?
    Thanks,

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    Default Transporters in SE

    Just the changes in the Transporter law that went into affect in July .... really slowed down the Vessel Transporter action here in S SE. Last year there was like a dozen Transporters (out of Craig) and this season there was just 3 or 4. With more laws taking affect in Jan it will probably slim things down some more. I guess these guys don't want to be held accountable. Basically I see the new laws as just bringing the Transporters into more accountability.

    I don't know of any changes to the air plane exemption. That is if they don't advertise for hunters (most air charters here in Ketchikan do not even use the word "hunt" at all) or charge more than their normal tariff, they don't need a Transporter license. In order to fly a person for hire I do believe they have to be Part 135.

    I don't see anything wrong with the species specific license. It is just part of tightening down (or making it harder) to license up.

    I do like being able to lock in Guide Use Areas for up to 5 years at a time, I think.

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    Everything you said mark is pretty much my understanding as well, my charter guys that i do all my flying with just charge me by the hour for my flying and do not have any transporter paper work to fill out as they are just an air taxi operating under 135, they dont' change there rates, nor do they fly many hunters so its not an issue with them.
    The trick with any changes will be keeping guys like them from getting dragged into the generalization of air taxis that fly some hunters but not the majority of their fall busines.
    But some outfitts up their rates and start charging by the person or give each landing strip a flat fee rather than an hourly rate. not everyone does this but a few do, the ones that do alot of fall hunter busines.
    Be interesting to see what happens.

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    johnnie what i don't understand about the specie endorsment on your license is how does that help anyone if the contracting guide is endorsed for mt goat and his assitant guide doing all his guiding isn't...? somehow i don't see how this will benifit anyone, there are better ways to make it harder to guide rather than requiring a guide to be endorsed for a game animal that the clients themselves dont' even have to have a guide for...moose/caribou.
    i dont' have a problem witht the endorsment as i quailify for everything i need, but i'm not understanding the advantage of it all.

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    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default good question

    Asst Guides license's won't have the species endorsement (I don't think) just the contracting Guide.

    It don't mean that much down here as we are already under a Brown Bear heavy restriction (mandated by our USFS use permit) ... no new Brown Bear Guides are being permitted. And Mt Goat is heading there fast.

    Like I said I see it as just part of the new Guide law making it harder to license up and be more accountable.

    After the new law is passed it will be then time to start chipping away at it. That is what happened to the last new Guide Law that was passed in the early 90's. It was chipped away at so much that it just became a skeleton of a law. Probably allowing too many Guides to get licenses and allowing more non-reputable stuff to happen in the Guiding industry.

    Reinstating the Ethics part of the Guide law is a major step in accountability. And the Contract requirement. These things will make it better for the Hunter as their should be less surprises. Most surprises now will probably be a violation of some sort.

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    Default I like

    If enforced, I think d 5,6,7,8, and 9 will help, and also f 1 and f 4. Some might be hard to enforce, but it would be nice if they tried.

    I also think something should be done as far as unscrupulous air transporters as suggested by Bushrat.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Looks like I understand now. The two air taxis I used for transportation charged me for the time it took to fly.

    Also, there are still some "transporters" I know of who are part 135 air taxis as well, and they charge an hourly rate, but when hunting season comes along, they charge whatever the heck they want, often exhorbitant fees.
    It's a two way street. The "exhorbitant" rate can often be justified. When you pay the flat rate to get flown in for a hunt you are not charged for failed attempts to get you in to a strip, you pay for the knowledge of the pilots of what gravel bars they KNOW they can get you into, and you pay for the knowledge they have collected over the years as to the success of the area they are taking you to.

    For example, I flew several hours and three attempts to get into where I wanted to hunt with 40Mile.. using both 206's and Cubs... the $1500 I was charged was a bargain but could have been considered "exhorbitant" if I just flew straight there in 45 minutes.

    On the flip side I paid for two hours of tach time in a 206 a couple years ago and got nowhere but right back where I started. Nice little chunk of cash wasted. Watch those tach time agreements...you are paying for the time in the air..often regardless if you make it.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I too am glad to see the guid industry cracking down on some of the loose regulations and loop holes that some "flash in the pan" outfitts are taking advantage of. Nothing cooks my goose more than working hard at what i do, just to see some outfitt fly in trash the place and give our business a black eye...
    i am personally impressed to just see this much interest taking in the industry right now, i think there was a time when it just kinda flew by the seat of its own pants, nice to see someone at least try and control this plane a little bit, so to speak. I'm not very old, but plan on guiding for a long time to come, starting my 10 year this coming spring and hope we can stear this business in the right direction.
    glad to see other guides adding some imput here.

    As for the flying exhorbirant price, i know what you mean about a flat fee having an advantage, make sure in the contracts that nothing else is added to the flat fee if extra flying time is taken. I pay my guys for every hour they are in the air, adn i'd personally prefer to keep it that way for what i do it works best.

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    Smile Ethics code

    I think that the new ethical guidelines sound great. It may even take some pressure off the guides for every client to be successful as they can point to the regulations to explain their limitations. They would be a lot easier to enforce than you think in the same manner they are now. Any guide suspected of being unethical could be booked for a hunt by undercover personnel. And the disasterous guided trips you hear about would be a lot more infrequent as a victimized client could make a detailed and specific complaint regarding a guide who would have to respond to the complaints. I really like the part about not spotting specific trophies as this has traditionally been a primary approach for both guides and sport hunters. I say great job on the specific rules as they will give clients a guideline for any complaints and also to what to look for in an ethical guide. The list of unethical activities looks like a checklist for my one guided hunting experience 15 years ago. Fortunately that guide is no longer in business…

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    Default IF Enforced !!!

    The law regarding following all state and federal regulations, and not remaining on private, state, federal land without permission is going to cause a lot of problems for the guides in SE and along coastlines, I believe.

    Why-because, IF IT IS ENFORCED, the state regulations, through the DNR, state that commercial businesses have to have a land use permit to stay overnight on state land (even ONE night). If you read all the statutes and regulations you will see that a boat/yacht is considered a floating facility, floating facilities used for commercial use (guides housing clients/feeding clients, etc) have to have the LAND USE PERMIT in order to be on state ground. State ground is from the mean-high-tide out three miles. Therefore, those guides using boats overnight housing/feeding their clients should have this permit if anchored within three miles mean-high tide! It is considered “submerged lands”. I don’t know of one guide that has the permit (in SE anyway)! This doesn’t include the “DAY USE” permit required, of which there are several guides that don’t even have that! Lots of violations could be enforced here.

    To go further-if the guide doesn’t have the state permit (land or daily use or both as required), they could get their Forest Service permits yanked because in those permits it also states that you have to follow all state and federal regulations and statutes.

    Then with the new 5000 acre rule, those guides wouldn’t be able to hunt the state land or the federal land---OUCH!

    Of course this is if the actual regulations and statutes are enforced!
    CuriousOne

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