Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS

Alaska troopers see increase in hunting-related citations

August 15, 2011

By Tim Morwy, NewsMiner.com

FAIRBANKS - Alaska Fish and Wildlife Troopers in Delta Junction have been busy since sheep and caribou hunting seasons opened in game management unit 20D on Wednesday.

Troopers cited a half dozen hunters for either illegally shooting caribou or illegally driving their vehicles into the Delta Controlled Use Area, which is closed to motorized vehicles.

On Saturday night, troopers cited Erik Foote, 36, and Phillip Chapman, 49, both of Palmer, for taking caribou in a closed area.

Troopers on patrol saw the men walking across Donnelly Flats toward the Richardson Highway with rifles at around 5:40 p.m. Troopers interviewed the hunters and learned that they had just shot two bull caribou not far away and were getting butchering gear out of their truck. Troopers accompanied the men back to the caribou, one of which had to be shot because it was still alive.

The area where the caribou were shot was west of Jarvis Creek, which has no caribou hunting season. The meat from the animals was donated to a charity from Delta Junction and the hunters’ rifles and the caribou antlers were seized as evidence.

On Saturday, troopers charged Scott Lippy, 51, for taking a caribou in a closed area. According to a trooper report, Lippy shot an extremely large caribou next to the Richardson Highway near Donnelly Flats on Wednesday. The area is west of Jarvis Creek, which is closed to caribou hunting. The meat and antlers were seized by troopers.

Troopers cited John Wild, 26, of North Pole on Sunday morning for driving a vehicle inside the Delta Controlled Use Area.

Troopers on aircraft patrol saw Wild’s vehicle parked 0.4 miles inside the controlled use area near Donnelly Flats at approximately 9:40 a.m. There were several men walking in the brush nearby, one of whom had a bow visible. There were several bull caribou in sight.

Upon landing, troopers interviewed three men, including Wild, and determined that the three men had been hunting for caribou and were attempting to get across Jarvis Creek. Wild had used his vehicle to transport the hunters inside the DCUA. The men had several large-caliber rifles and other hunting gear with them in addition to the bow.

Two other hunters, Camden Toohey, 47, and Donald Spencer, 57, both of Anchorage, were cited on Saturday for driving in the Delta Controlled Use Area.

Troopers ran into Spencer just before 6 p.m. Friday as he was arriving back at his vehicle from a sheep hunt up Lower Suzie Q Creek. According to a trooper report, Spencer had driven up a rough trail over 0.3 miles inside the controlled use area and that it had also been used the previous day to travel up Flood Creek on another sheep hunt. Flood Creek is also inside the controlled use area.

Later that same evening, troopers discovered Toohey’s vehicle parked 0.6 miles inside the controlled use area near Castner Creek at around 7:45 p.m. A trooper later ran into Toohey as he was driving the vehicle out of the area upon his return from a sheep hunt up Castner Creek.

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