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Thread: Speaking of Transporter busts

  1. #1
    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default Speaking of Transporter busts

    This was just in the Ketchikan paper and on another Ketchikan internet news site.

    I have edited the names out of the article. Maybe making this post within David's guidelines. If not I understand if a moderator deletes the post.

    Since we have been discussing the current Transporter situation I thought this was worthy.

    It will be a precedent setting case for sure. It is scheduled to go to trial in Craig in Feb.

    December 09, 2006
    Saturday

    Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan and Klawock Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement State Troopers began investigation into what they called a large illegal big game transporter case in April 2006 which involves at least 8 people and several businesses owned and operated by a Transporter of Salt lake City, Utah.

    During the investigation it was determined that three non-resident aliens were hunting big game with out the services of a big game guide on board a 100 foot vessel converted from a Bristol bay crabber. Two of the nonresident aliens were citizens of Spain and one was a citizen of Mexico. Investigation revealed that the nonresident aliens were issued (by the Transporter) the wrong tags and licenses for hunting black bear and did not have a guide as required by law. Investigation also revealed that they were planning on leaving the United States on April 30, 2006 to return to their respective countries

    Troopers were issued arrest warrants for these individuals and served the warrants on April 29th. The three nonresident aliens pled out in arraignment that was held immediately after the arrests.

    During further investigation by Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement State Troopers between April 26th and November 2nd, the investigation revealed that vessels and employees of the company were taking black bear hunters into the field and remaining with clients while actively looking and hunting for black bears. The company has a transporter license that only allows them to provided transportation services to from and in the field. The investigation reveled that employees of the company remained in the field with paying clients while they actively searched for black bears while driving slowly in boats along the beaches near Craig Alaska.

    According to the Troopers, transporters then waited in the area and watched from the boats while their clients stalked and shot their bears. After the clients shot their bears the employees stayed in the area and waited for the hunters to bring the bears to the beach. Investigation further revealed that captain and his transporter employees provided hunting blinds to their paying clients to hunt for black bears while they were in the field and failed to fill out and complete several transporter activity reports.

    Alaska State Troopers, Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement announced this week they have charged 38 misdemeanor counts to the company and it's employees. Named in the charges are, the Captain, owner and operator of the company and employees.

    The Captain, owner and operator of the company, has been charged with 18 counts, 16 counts of aiding in the commission of a violation of State guiding law, 2 counts of violations of transporter activity reports.

    An employee from Ketchikan has been charged with 10 counts, 1 count of aiding in the commission of a violation of state guiding law, 3 counts of outfitting big game hunters without a license, 5 counts of transporter remaining in the field with paying big game hunting clients and 1 count of transporter activity report violations.

    An employee from Craig has been charged with 8 misdemeanor counts, 2 count of aiding in the commission of a violation of state Guiding law, 2 counts of outfitting big game hunters without a license, 3 counts of transporter remaining in the field with paying big game hunting clients and 1 count of transporter activity report violations.

    An employee from Craig has been charged with 2 misdemeanor counts, 1 counts of transporter remaining in the field with paying big game hunting clients, and 1 count of transporter activity report violations.

    Charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

  2. #2

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    Nicely done Johnnie. Beyond protecting the innocent (until proven guilty), this distills it down to a question of what's legal and not. That's a worthy discussion, and your post keeps it that way.

  3. #3
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    You taking people out on your boat and then you guide them to big game thats guiding, you need a license for that, but to transpoert hunter to where ever he can be dropped off and safely picked up, I still dont know how that license came about, we are already licensed by the uscg and if a passanger spots game before you get to where your going and you drop them off, thats not guiding, thats luck!

  4. #4

    Question Transporting vs Guiding

    So are alot of these bear and deer "boat based hunt" (i.e. you live on the boat) operations actually guiding under a transporter license. A lot of their websites make the point that its dropoff only, but in practice it sounds like a lot slow cruising until game is spotted and then the hunters are dropped off for the stalk (a popular technique for those with private boats who hunt PWS).

  5. #5
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    This was in the ADN last week to.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    I've done a couple of boat based bear and deer hunts. The transporter we used was very, very careful about what he was doing. He never picked up a pair of binoculars to help spot and one of us operated the zodiak if we had spotted a bear. On the deer hunts he dropped us off at the beach and went right back to the boat. I think one of the biggest problems in the situation above was providing blinds for the hunters, not to mention the hunters were aliens and required a guide for all big game hunting in Alaska.

  7. #7

    Question Seems like splitting hairs

    If the boat based hunt operation only has a transporter license:
    1) Is slow cruising while the hunters glass for game a form of guiding? Who decides where the boat goes? Some examples:
    a)Hunter: "We've been on this boat for 2 days and haven't seen anything"
    Transporter: "I usually see bear at XYZ"
    Hunter: "Well, take us there then"
    Guiding?
    b)Hunter: "We haven't a clue, take us where there are bears"
    Transporter: "Okay"
    Guiding?
    c)Hunter: "I'm here to hunt bears in the PWS"
    Transporter: "Okay, we're going to cruise from Whittier, through passage canal, through Culross Pass, around down past Dangerous Passage and south to Knight Island. We'll being going slow, and working back and forth in south facing bays, so you can glass the tidal beaches. We'll stop and glass/fish on the way if you want, and if we see a bear, I'll drop you off so you can stalk it or you can take yourself in on my zodiak"
    Guiding?
    2) Is not the transporter, by allowing the hunters to shelter on his boat (sleep, eat, store equipment and game, providing a zodiak, etc) not in essense outfitting the hunter in the field with a floating camp?
    I'm assuming its easier to get a transporter license than a guide license which is why people split hairs in the first place.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ucohokie View Post
    a)Hunter: "We've been on this boat for 2 days and haven't seen anything"
    Transporter: "I usually see bear at XYZ"
    Hunter: "Well, take us there then"
    Guiding?
    No, the client hired a transporter licensed by the State under Big Game regulations. If it's out of line to recommend a likely location, then the State needs to stop licensing Transporters and not include them in the Board Of Big Game Commercial Services.

    Quote Originally Posted by ucohokie View Post
    b)Hunter: "We haven't a clue, take us where there are bears"
    Transporter: "Okay"
    Guiding?
    Yes Guiding. By specifying actual bears, rather than 'likely bear spot' the client has asked the Transporter to break the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by ucohokie View Post
    c)Hunter: "I'm here to hunt bears in the PWS"
    Transporter: "Okay, we're going to cruise from Whittier, through passage canal, through Culross Pass, around down past Dangerous Passage and south to Knight Island. We'll being going slow, and working back and forth in south facing bays, so you can glass the tidal beaches. We'll stop and glass/fish on the way if you want, and if we see a bear, I'll drop you off so you can stalk it or you can take yourself in on my zodiak"
    Guiding?
    The only part I see a problem with, is the 'working back and forth in south facing bays'. That's not transporting, or providing accommodations.

    Quote Originally Posted by ucohokie View Post
    2) Is not the transporter, by allowing the hunters to shelter on his boat (sleep, eat, store equipment and game, providing a zodiak, etc) not in essense outfitting the hunter in the field with a floating camp?
    Yes. Which is why the 'outfitter' label should been added to Transporters, rather than Guides. For the last decade 'outfitter' had been removed from the regs. It was just Guides and Transporters. Somehow 'outfitter' became attached to the term Guide in the new changes that occurred when the Board met for the first time. Again, the Board was not allowed to vote on those changes, they went into effect immediately by the simple act of the Board meeting. Strange deal for sure...

  9. #9
    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    Your attorney and the prosecutor will have to interpret all the mumbo jumbo in front of a judge and jury. In the meantime the people who write these laws need to look at all the issues like communities reporting outsiders taking all the game from an area, or guides not only from anothr state, but guides, guiding in areas they do not live and not even hiring locals. If the guides and transporters lived where they worked we wouldnt have this problem, I think the guides are trying to remidy the situation with all these laws that appear fuzzy or are described as grey areas, now its all up for interpatation.

  10. #10

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    Figured it out, this the boat Johnnie?...


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