09/02/15 DPS PR #15-026
Self-Reporting Hunting Offenses is the Ethical Thing to Do
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Hunting season is here again and every hunter has the responsibility to make sure that the game they take is legal. Some common examples of illegally taken game include taking a sub-legal moose or sheep or taking an animal in a closed area. Sometimes mistakes happen and the animal harvested is not legal. When this occurs, the hunter may be subject to criminal penalties. So, what should a hunter do if this happens?
Not only is reporting yourself to the Alaska Wildlife Troopers the ethical thing to do, you will be treated differently than if your actions were discovered through investigations by authorities. You will likely receive a citation for taking the animal illegally; however you will receive a substantially lower fine and other potential leniency compared to not self-reporting. In most situations, Alaska Wildlife Troopers will recommend that fines be consistent with self-reporting cases in other areas of the state and the illegal take be resolved as a violation instead of a criminal offense.
In the last two years, the average number of hunting cases statewide for Aug. 10 through Sept. 1 – considered the first 20 days of hunting season in most areas – has been 18 sheep and 24 moose kills. These numbers increase as the season progresses. They represent a variety of case types, however the prevalent cases are sub-legal antlers and horns as well as waste cases.
It will always be worse for the hunter if they leave the animal to waste. If hunters are caught and convicted of wasting a big game animal, the mandatory minimum fine is $2500 and seven days in jail. Additionally, hunters typically lose their equipment such as rifles, ATV, boats and airplanes used in commission of the crime.
Under hunting and trapping regulations in Alaska, there is no requirement that a person self-report their unlawful take of game. Ethical hunters will obligate themselves to take ownership of the mistake and self-report to authorities, but they may not know the best steps to proceed.
If you have taken game that is not legal follow these steps:
- Immediately validate your harvest ticket or permit for the appropriate species and if possible make a note of your intention to self-report.
- As soon as possible after taking illegal game, contact your local Alaska Wildlife Trooper office. Advise them of your situation and your location.
- After harvesting an animal, you must comply with salvage requirements for that species. The Alaska Wildlife Troopers will tell you where to take the animal.
- Keep the meat in the best condition possible. This may mean you will need to come out of the field to prevent spoilage.
After self-reporting your violation, you can expect an Alaska Wildlife Trooper will speak to you about your hunt. Salvaged meat, hide, antlers, or horns will be seized. According to Alaska law, animals taken unlawfully are the property of the state. The meat is usually donated to a charitable organization but may be retained as evidence. Hides, horns, or antlers will be retained by Alaska Wildlife Troopers until instructed by the court.
Hunters who do not self-report their error risk being discovered by Alaska Wildlife Troopers in the future. Carefully consider your actions after you take an animal unlawfully in Alaska. Your next decision can determine the consequences of your actions.
Hunting regulations are found on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hunting.main.
PDF version of the release
08/24/15 DPS PR #15-025
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – For the next two weeks Alaska State Troopers will be patrolling day and night, keeping an eye out for impaired drivers. The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high visibility enforcement campaign, which started Aug. 19 and lasts through Sept. 7, is designed to discourage impaired drivers from hitting the highways. Troopers implore motorists to always keep safety in mind. If you have consumed anything that could impair your ability to drive any motorized vehicle, water vessel or aircraft, please change your plans. Find a sober driver, wait until you are no longer impaired before getting behind the wheel or call a taxi.
While Troopers will be doing their best to keep impaired drivers off the road, they also need the public’s assistance in getting the job done. Please encourage all your friends and family to make the important decision to only drive when sober. If you suspect a driver is impaired, please report them to law enforcement immediately. Think REDDI. Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately by dialing 9-1-1. The more information the public is able to give law enforcement about the vehicle description and direction of travel the better. Examples of dangerous driving are impaired driving, unsafe or illegal passing, aggressive driving, texting while driving, drowsy driving, unsafe vehicles and threatening actions.
Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Funding for the focused highway enforcement was provided in part by grant sources distributed through the Alaska Highway Safety Office.
PDF version of the release
07/14/15 DPS PR #15-024
Kenai Peninsula Personal Use Fishery Information
(KENAI, Alaska) – With this weekend’s influx of Alaskans that are expected to make an appearance on the Kenai Peninsula for the personal use fishery, Alaska Wildlife Troopers would like to pass on some friendly reminders for the people (not the fish.) Once you arrive at the fishery – located on Kenai Beach a mile north and south of the river mouth and in the water in front of the mouth north of the Kenai boat harbor – please remain courteous and patient to motorists and fellow fishermen. With upwards of 35,000 permits issued, the fishery will be congested on land and water. If fishing from a boat, make sure you have all of the required boating safety equipment, especially personal flotation devices — many people this year have already been cited for not having required equipment. It is a good idea to wear you PFDS at all times when you’re around water because they’ve proven to save lives. Be courteous to other boaters and watch your wake.
There are several nicely maintained cleaning stations in the Kenai and Soldotna areas. AWT suggests you use one away from the fishery to reduce congestion. Regardless of where a fish is cleaned, remember to ensure the waste is properly disposed of. Leaving fish waste on the beach could result in a littering charge, it is also a nuisance to other people recreating in the area. If you dispose of fish waste in the river, try to ensure it gets out into the fast moving current and not into your neighbors’ net. Not getting it out into the fast water may result in the waste being washed ashore during the next tide cycle.
Common violations the AWT Troopers come across are during this fishery and others are:
- Failing to record your catch on your permit before concealing your catch from view and or leaving your fishing sight.
- Failing to mark personal use fish by clipping both lobes of the caudal fin before concealing your catch from view and or leaving your fishing sight.
- Failure to obtain a personal use permit before fishing. It is required to possess, on your person, a Upper Cook Inlet Personal Use Permit and valid 2015 Alaska Resident Sport Fish license while dip netting.
- Keeping a prohibited species. Remember King Salmon, Dolly Varden and Rainbow trout my not be retained.
- Non-residents may not participate in the Personal Use fishery. This includes driving a boat and handling the fish.
The traffic down to the Kenai Peninsula will likely be very congested due to the size of the run expected. Please be patient and courteous while traversing the highways to and from your destination. If you are traveling slower than the posted speed limit and slowing down traffic, please pull over in a pull out and let others pass. If you are passing, use extreme caution and common sense. There are stretches of the highway that are currently constructions zones, be cautious and patient in these areas. Plan a head of time to for delays to stay calm and practice safe driving behaviors at all times.
To report a violation, please call our dispatch center at (907)262-4453. The quicker the report is received the better our chances of catching the violator.
The Soldotna Wildlife Trooper Post can be reached at (907)262-4573. Call AWT to report a violation or to seek clarification on regulation. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game can also provide information of the regulations. ADF&G can be reached at (907)262-9368. Good Luck!
Click on these links for more information about the Kenai River salmon fisheries and its permits and regulations.
*If you would like to schedule an interview with a Trooper in Anchorage on Tuesday or on the Kenai Peninsula Wednesday through Saturday, please contact Megan Peters at 907-269-5413 to make arrangements.
PDF version of the release