A yearlong hunting spree has finally come to an end, thanks to state troopers.
Alaska State Trooper Jake Abbott (photo via KTOO) Some hunters were breaking hunting laws, committing a plethora of crimes (including one fishing crime).
Here’s what happened…
In February 2016, Alaskan wildlife troopers got a tip that some local hunters had killed a lot of deer the previous deer hunting season and broken many laws in the process.
Trooper Jake Abbott said as the investigation went on, the pile of dirty laundry kept piling up.
“You start at the roots and then as the case grows, it starts branching out and all these other violations for other things start getting found,” he said.
photo via Double P Ranch
He and his team looked at text message conversations and post-hunt pictures. They tried to find animal carcasses the alleged criminals may have left behind.
The crimes? The group of hunters shot deer from a boat, which is only legal if you have a special permit for folks with disabilities.
“People shooting deer from the boat tends to lead to what we call higher wounding loss,” Abbott said. “Which means an animal gets wounded, the hunter either made a poor shot or didn’t realize they hit it and the deer runs off.”
That means the deer runs away, dies out of sight, and the meat goes to waste.
They also abused the proxy hunting system, which is when you can have someone hunt on your behalf if you’re elderly or disabled. When they reported their hunting results, they said some deer were killed by a proxy when that wasn’t totally true.
Three of hunters involved were caught. They have to pay anywhere from $650 to more than $1,000 in fines. The other two hunters involved plead not guilty, so there trials are scheduled for September. Plus, they could all lose their hunting privileges.
The lesson is, always hunt honestly. After all, that’s what the Duck Dynasty guys would do.