Skwentna, Alaska (KINY) A registered big game guide entered guilty pleas to eight guiding and hunting offenses.
Clifford Smith, 41, of Dunmore, PA, pled to charges of illegal acts by a registered guide, establishing a bear bait station within one mile of a dwelling, and failure to remove litter from a bear bait station.
A dispatch from Alaska State Troopers said Mr. Smith had his guide license permanently revoked, under terms of the agreement. He was fined $23,000 with $18,000 suspended, and was placed on probation for one year.
Mr. Smith will also be required to provide photographic proof that he cleaned up the bait stations.
The case stemmed from a report in 2014 that a bear bait station had been placed too close to a lodge. Troopers investigated and found the station was indeed within one mile of the lodge and that the station was littered with garbage. Troopers went on to report that they inspected several of Mr. Smith's bear bait stations and found similar problems with garbage.
Alaska hunting regulations prohibit establishing bear bait stations within one mile of a dwelling, business, school, or developed campground. Regulations also require that bait station permitees remove all bait, litter, and equipment from the bait station when hunting is completed for the season. The regulations are in place to reduce inadvertent human encounters with bears.