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Thread: Pt Hope caribou case

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Default Pt Hope caribou case

    The Alaska Dispatch has a really good article on the Rt Hope 'bou slaughter. Part 1 of 3. It is a long read, but has a lot of info I was not aware of based on a few ADN articles I have read. Court case is coming up at the end of the month.

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    very good read ray thanks...!!!
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Excellent read.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Five days after the first conversation with Schmidt, troopers from Nome, Kotzebue and Fairbanks landed on Point Hope's gravel airstrip.

    Troopers spent three days in the mountains outside Point Hope
    When they returned to the village, they promptly informed the mayor they had disturbing news. They asked him to call a meeting with village elders. At that meeting, troopers showed pictures of the dead caribou, including the young suckling their dead mothers. The elders cried. Troopers promised to keep things quiet, Oomittuk said in an interview last month, and asked for help in finding those responsible.
    Villagers, however, were already questioning the images they were being shown. Some believed many of the pictures were of the same caribou from different angles, furthering suspicions about whether dozens of dead animals were actually found, Oomittuk said.
    "We wanted to see those 60 to 65 animals," he said. "Who could do such a thing? Who in our community would kill 60 to 70 animals and leave them out there?" Villagers wanted to go look at the scene. Troopers wouldn't immediately allow it, Oomittuk said, so the community launched its own investigation. Members of the Native Village of Point Hope headed into the mountains on four-wheelers




    On Aug. 2, 2008, nearly one month after the hunt began, a borough search and rescue helicopter loaded with wildlife management staff, the mayor's office, local hunters and a representative from the Native Village of Point Hope conducted a three-hour flyover of the area. Observers on board located only seven to nine wasted animals, a count similar to that returned by the village search team. The local searchers reasoned that if seven or so animals were still intact in the field, the rest of the carcasses troopers claimed to have found should be there, too. Village leaders admit they were troubled by what they found, but it didn't appear to be the massive slaughter troopers were making it out to be



    somthing is still not adding up when i look at it in peices.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    somthing is still not adding up when i look at it in peices.
    And then the 37 animals in the charges.

    Either predators rapidly returned the remains to a pile of bones not visible unless walked up on (where did all that hair go?) or there were not 100 animals killed.

    Typically criminal charges are based on what they can prove through evidence so the 37 animals in the charges is not too far fetched, but there should have been more if there was more evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    And then the 37 animals in the charges.

    Either predators rapidly returned the remains to a pile of bones not visible unless walked up on (where did all that hair go?) or there were not 100 animals killed.

    Typically criminal charges are based on what they can prove through evidence so the 37 animals in the charges is not too far fetched, but there should have been more if there was more evidence.
    37 dead caribou in zip-loc baggies labeled as Evidence #1 thru #37?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    or they were moved.


    i cant wait to see the video that will accompany this...


    someone.. somewhere will be stepping on their gender specific parts.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    moved ..you say? ,... lol , they wouldnt do that..

    ...We wanted to see those 60 to 65 animals," he said. "Who could do such a thing? Who in our community would kill 60 to 70 animals and leave them out there?" Villagers wanted to go look at the scene. Troopers wouldn't immediately allow it, Oomittuk said, so the community launched its own investigation. Members of the Native Village of Point Hope headed into the mountains on four-wheelers, while the North Slope Borough brought in a search-and-rescue helicopter to capture an aerial view. People had prepared themselves to find slaughtered animals all over the place, Oomittuk said. When they didn't, they were shocked....


    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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    Default Perspectives of Tribal People regarding the Caribou "Harvest" in Point Hope

    I came across this video the other day while searching the net to see if anything was happening with the wanton waste case at Pt. Hope. http://aitc.org/node/215

    The first 5 minutes of the video has nothing to do with the case. The remaining 15 minutes of the video is a woman's (sister of one of the accused) poetic viewpoint regarding the situation.

    What I gathered to be the "Perspectives of Tribal People regarding the Caribou Harvest in Point Hope" is this:

    1. The accused hunters (as well as the entire community of Point Hope) are the real victims.
    2. No crimes or unethical actions were committed by the hunters.
    3. The only thing with this situation that is unethical is the State's wanton waste law.

    I wonder if this is truly the perspective of the majority of tribal people. I'm not sure how many were in the audience, but she got a standing ovation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DGW View Post
    What I gathered to be the "Perspectives of Tribal People
    After the full read I kinda thought the whole article revolved around the same, a skewed opinion if you will; from the inside looking out.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Default Good Read

    That was a good read. Definately reports all the information unlike the stories in the ADN.

    On a side note, the article talks about the troopers collected wrappers, shirts, knives, etc... If they get really blood thirsty they could always charge them with littering.

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    Question

    Curious,,, did the villagers see the 37 caribou ??

    If so, I'm wondering how 'relieved' they were,
    instead of 'finding' signs of a massacre.
    My math skills say 37 dead caribou, ARE dozens. +1

    How many caribou=massacre?

    If only 1 'wasted' un-diseased caribou are attributed to each 'defendant',,
    are they 'guilty' ?

    I'm thinking a 'few' Point Hope villagers 'hurt' many.

    Or maybe , , it was the butler....

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    Great write up.

    Hmmmm.....they left out that Schmidts hunting partner was a local and Ive heard quite a different story on how the reporting went down, and the ensuing argument that happened between the Troopers and the Elders, when the Elders were being accused in the same meeting that they were made aware of......but what the heck, most storys differ with the retelling....you cant get it all.


    What you can see, in the vids is that these elders almost couldent comprehend the act itsself.
    I belive that as lifetime Subsistance users, that they know how and did use everything they could get. It was just incomprehendable as well as so shamefull of an act, they couldnt belive it.

    Its amazing what denial can do to people.
    Would be nice to hear the whole question/answers.

    Troopers arrived only 5 days after it was reported? Hey, thats great for Troopers in the Bush. Good job!!!!!Its pretty rare to get a cop in less than a week, often.

    There is never a good reason to waste Caribou.
    traditionally, the meat would have been salvaged, the guys worked together, maby set up a tent, and make trips back and forth to the home untill it was all there. They would have worked hard to see who could do what, seen who can skin best, maby who can butcher, some would start riding the meat home, while others debonned , cooked.....and such.
    This incident is just smack of "LAZY" and well as a lack of hunting skills and responsibility.
    These guys should have looked at them and sized them up before shooting them. If, indeed they were diseased its their responsibility and duty to the Caribou, themselfs and the state to salvage all the meat.
    Dogs gotta eat.
    I look at Caribou before I shoot, and I do not get sick animals.
    The only thing I see wrong with most Caribou are sores and puss pockets from warbel flys , at that time of year , and it does nothing to the meat.
    Its that way every year, on every Caribou, since they started makeing them...the skins on Bulls get healed up and nice at the very end of July, a nice shiny blackish Brown. Cows hides are good in the beginning of August.
    Traditionaly ,they should have been shooting the calfs at that time of year, for clothing skins, and dry meat.Nowdays, with Hondas and freezers, a couple caribou abord for a 20+ mile trip is doable. Shooting that many Caribou to get that much meat is wrong in any eyes.

    Its a shame that they try to relate themselfs as Subsistance Hunters, touting that what they did is common and right, because its NOT.
    Here in the Kotzebue Sound area, we look before we shoot and take home what weve shot. We pride ourselfs in the ability to judge and shoot exactly what we want......thats a part of being a Hunter.
    Its look and shoot, not shoot and look.

    Well now, its going to trial, so we get to Look and see very soon.

    We will then see who is responsible for what and why, as well as who bear the responsibility.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ret25yo View Post
    moved ..you say? ,... lol , they wouldnt do that..


    i am really going to upset a few friends here perhaps...but here goes with honest intent..


    as i stated in the other thread, and too the Fairbanks AC meeting last night and numerous times in the other posts on this subject that turned bigotry to both sides and were closed down...



    this is NOT the first time this has been reported. this is COMMON in many parts of the western and northern herds...

    in my adult life in the villages, town, and hunting camps, i have on 4 different occasion seen up to several hundred dead caribou left to rot on the frozen tundra.

    these have been acceptable standards to many, there were on many occasions i have been upset that i as a young white man was unable to harvest any f the meat left. in most cases the animals were left to lay due to a lack of fat on the animal...


    there have been in the past and i am afraid the standards that persons living in these areas have been made, and are currently persecuted for their lifestyle and lack of understanding of it...

    there are also some areas of the state that have learned the victims role..

    it is not my intention to say this role is currently in play as i have not been there in many years and do not know the current counsel .

    do i think folks in that community would go so far to move an animal to claim persecution? to claim victim status and use it to the benefit of their community whether it is by publication, income by visiting onlookers, and other sources...

    well YES i do... they will do it for the same reason a man will have his son hide in the attic while a balloon circle town.

    they would do it with out knowledge of every one. to say the troopers set them up.


    the people of that community KNOW their hunters leave animals lay... they have done it before, as have hunters of other communities i have visited.

    there is NO regard for State law or game regulations... take a look at the Yukon river.. you Can NOT tell them NOT to fish.

    i have seen 223's fired at fish and game planes during fish openers

    and troopers burnt out of house and car for attempting to enforce simple laws or regulations.

    but it is never the fault of those that live there.

    Alaska Business magazine just printed the top 49ers in this months issue.

    8 of the top ten businesses in Alaska are corporations held by native share holders.

    [QUOTE][TRAILBLAZERS Leading the State's Top Businesses 58
    Top 49ers by Gross Revenue 60
    /QUOTE]http://www.akbizmag.com/latest-
    issue.html

    this article states how poor the job situation is in these communities

    The median income for a household in the city was $63,125, and the median income for a family was $66,250. Males had a median income of $41,750 versus $35,625 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,641. About 13.9% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.3% of those under age 18 and 16.2% of those age 65 or over.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Hope,_Alaska



    when i read these things.. and keeping in mind that THIS IS AN EDITED PIECE... written BY a person with not only an opinion but emotions too...

    as do I....


    i wonder the full story...

    there are three sides to every story...


    yours

    mine

    and the truth...


    my experience makes my truth for me. as Reality is perception for every one...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Ya, Vince, you have "The Dark Side" cover'd, though I havent seen it myself.
    What kinds guys you run with? ~~LOL!!~~

    Let me show you around Paradise, sometime.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Default I think

    I think that the argument(sp?) "This is a generations old practice" misrepresents the true nature of the practice.

    Is it practice not to eat sick or poisoned animals? YES
    Is the true original intent to kill everything you see and sort it out later? I doubt it.

    In my mind using that excuse looks worse for the community and natives as a whole. I'm not trying to pigeon hole all natives into one group, but it's a situation all hunters deal with. If a hunter in New Jersey does something stupid, that label gets passed to all hunters across the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    Ya, Vince, you have "The Dark Side" cover'd, though I havent seen it myself.
    What kinds guys you run with? ~~LOL!!~~

    Let me show you around Paradise, sometime.


    Stranger, i have seen both sides.. that is why i can still defend much of what you do .... and your correct. it is paradise


    but you know well as i do... a few miles makes a large difference in community
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Vince I believe what you said is well said.

    I am interested in the outcome of the whole thing. I see it as rural against urban in a manner. I have seen waste of our resources in both agendas. When I was a child (6 yrs old)hunting with my dad at lake louise I remember coming on a lake with maybe a dozen caribou dead on it. The difference is the standards that the residents are held to if any two of us went to the mcclaren shot a caribou and left it we would both be charged with the crime. In the rural communitties this is a rare case where wildgame is concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTICLE
    The eight defendants charged then were part of two separate hunting parties. None was directly accused of the "caribou massacre" troopers had gone to great lengths to solve. Instead, they were charged with playing a role in the overall carnage that offended Schmidt and brought investigators to the scene.
    WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE CHARGES? role playing? personal offense of schmidt? Did they get charged with want and waste or not?

    I still think they will come out of it without a scratch. As I had said earlier this issue would be taken as an attack on the village and this pretty much shows that to be so

    Quote Originally Posted by ARTICLE
    For the people of Point Hope, the reputation of their community was on the line. The tribal leadership swiftly came to the aid of the accused hunters, calling the charges "a direct attack on our subsistence and way of life." The North Slope Borough agreed to spend $56,000 to help the men clear their names.
    The accused have acquired the financial and legal support they need now all they need is prop 34 and all will be well in Pt Hope.

  19. #19

    Default Really Touchy Issue!

    I grew up in the Yukon Territory and I was witness to similar slaughters of moose and caribou. My family lived a subsistance lifestyle trapping, hunting, and living off the land. I learned to respect the land and harvest resources only as needed and for 100% use. As an engineer, I have worked in several communitees and dealt with numerous contractors that have spent a lot of time in rural Alaska.

    First of all, I have a really hard time believing the Troopers would have blown this way out of proportion and hear is why: The Troopers have always had a tough job enforcing state laws in the communitees. Many times, the working relationship between the Troopers and the local community leaders has been, at best, very tense. Troopers represent the white man's law and bring fear and distane with them. I simply cannot believe the Troopers would jeprodize all the work they have done to gain the respect of communitees by blowing something way out of proportion and falsely accuse community members of waisting meat. Like others have said, and I have seen, this is not the first time this has happened.

    Second, communitees stick together. What actually happened out there may or may not ever be known by us. As several have speculated on here, anything is possible. I will refrain from speculating further, but I have my own opinions. Anything is possible!

    I am very interested to see the outcome of this in court.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by littleman81 View Post
    I grew up in the Yukon Territory and I was witness to similar slaughters of moose and caribou. My family lived a subsistance lifestyle trapping, hunting, and living off the land. I learned to respect the land and harvest resources only as needed and for 100% use. As an engineer, I have worked in several communitees and dealt with numerous contractors that have spent a lot of time in rural Alaska.

    First of all, I have a really hard time believing the Troopers would have blown this way out of proportion and hear is why: The Troopers have always had a tough job enforcing state laws in the communitees. Many times, the working relationship between the Troopers and the local community leaders has been, at best, very tense. Troopers represent the white man's law and bring fear and distane with them. I simply cannot believe the Troopers would jeprodize all the work they have done to gain the respect of communitees by blowing something way out of proportion and falsely accuse community members of waisting meat. Like others have said, and I have seen, this is not the first time this has happened.

    Second, communitees stick together. What actually happened out there may or may not ever be known by us. As several have speculated on here, anything is possible. I will refrain from speculating further, but I have my own opinions. Anything is possible!

    I am very interested to see the outcome of this in court.
    As you say "Anything is possible!".
    But....I predict you will NOT see the outcome of this in court.
    It has been dragged out for good reason. There are a lot of actions being taken on many fronts.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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