Big Game Guide Pleads Guilty To Several Bear Bait Station Violations – Guide License Permanently Revoked
November 22, 2017
(ANCHORAGE, AK) – On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, registered big game guide Clifford Smith, 41, of Dunmore, PA entered guilty pleas to eight guiding and hunting offenses including illegal acts by a registered guide, establishing a bear bait station within one mile of a dwelling, and failing to remove litter from a bear bait station. Smith's guide license was permanently revoked as part of the agreement. Additionally, Smith was fined $23,000 with $18,000 suspended, placed on probation for one year during which he may not hunt, and is required to provide photographic proof that he cleaned up the bait stations.
The case originated in 2014 when the Alaska Wildlife Troopers received a complaint that a bear bait station was set too close to a lodge. Troopers investigated and found that one of Smith's bait stations was established within one mile of three separate dwellings. Troopers also discovered that the bait station was littered with a substantial amount of garbage.
In October of 2016, Wildlife Troopers inspected several more bear bait stations that Smith used in his commercial guiding operation. The bait stations were littered with trash, bait, and equipment that Smith failed to clean up after the bear season closed.
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 permittees 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.
The case was investigated by the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Aaron Peterson of the Alaska Department of Law, Office of Special Prosecutions.
CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Aaron Peterson at (907) 269-6250.
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