Assault Rifle Slaughter of Denali Wolves

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Washington, DC, April 3, 2018 — The State of Alaska is scrambling to shut down hunting and trapping adjacent to Denali National Park over concerns that excessive kills may destabilize this iconic wolf population. Photos posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) show a man armed with an AR15 semiautomatic rifle displaying ten wolf carcasses outside Denali.

In an emergency order issued on March 30, 2018 and revised yesterday, Alaska Department of Fish & Game (DFG) cut short the hunting and trapping season on state land along the Stampede Trail, including land adjacent to the eastern boundary of Denali National Park and Preserve. The stated reason for the order is that –

“The wolf harvest this season in the area described is more than the past 5-year average and there is the potential for more harvest to occur before the end of the regulatory hunting and trapping seasons.”

While DFG claims in its order that “There are no conservation concerns for wolves” in the Denali region, the agency admits that it has no idea how many wolves have been killed this year. Moreover, the state has not acknowledged reports that a hunter on a snow machine armed with a semiautomatic rifle recently killed ten wolves outside Denali.

“While I am glad that Governor Walker has acted I am concerned that it may be too little, too late,” said Rick Steiner, a retired University of Alaska professor and PEER board member, who has led the charge for permanent buffer zones around Denali. “The historic high level of take has already altered wolf ecological dynamics, not counting these reports of additional kills just now coming in.”

Studies show hunting and trapping outside Denali is having a big impact on the viability of wolf packs inside Denali, which is Alaska’s top tourist attraction, drawing more than a half-million visitors annually. Not only are Denali wolf family groups disrupted, but visitor-viewing success has plummeted as well.

Similarly, at Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, hunting has so decimated wolf packs that the National Park Service had to end a more than 20-year research program on predator-prey relationships. Its scientists found that the wolf population in the 2.5 million acre national preserve is “no longer in a natural state” nor are there enough survivors to maintain a “self-sustaining population.”

Significantly, Alaska has agreed to participate in an independent National Academy of Sciences review of its predator control programs for the first time in 20 years since the administration of Governor Tony Knowles (1994-2002), the only governor in Alaska history to prohibit lethal predator control programs.

“Alaska’s predator control program is clearly out of control,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. “Alaska should put predator control on hold until it gets a handle on what is actually occurring.”

In response to the recent excessive losses at Denali, Alaska citizens are renewing their call for the Governor to establish a permanent no-kill buffer protecting all park predator species – wolves, bears, lynx, wolverines – along the boundary of Denali, to restore the natural ecosystem and visitor viewing success in the park.

Read the state emergency hunting and trapping closure order

Look at hunting adverse impacts on Denali wolf packs

See decimation of Yukon-Charley wolf packs

View Trump repeal of hunting restrictions inside Alaskan national parks and refuges

Look at growing doubts about Alaska’s predator control program

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As crossbows get more popular, Alaska requires specialized training for hunters

http://www.newsminer.com/features/outdoors/as-crossbows-get-more-popular-alaska-requires-specialized-training-for/article_bf03ed98-3966-11e8-b6de-8365aa43c18c.html

  • Sam Friedman sfriedman@newsminer.com
  •  (0)

As used by hunters, a crossbow is somewhere between a gun and a bow. It has a learning curve more like a gun and a range more like archery equipment. Crossbows are still relatively novel weapons. More than moose hunts, they may bring to mind images of medieval re-enactors or Chewbacca from the “Star Wars” movies.

But they’ve become common enough that Alaska’s Board of Game has asked the state to develop a training class for them. Starting July 1, crossbow hunters will be required to take a class and pass a field shooting exercise to hunt big game animals anywhere in the state.

To learn more about crossbows, I asked crossbow hunter and occasional Daily News-Miner contributor Jeff Bushke to show me the basics. Bushke has been crossbow hunting for more than a decade and set up a practice range against a snow berm in his front yard.

Bushke got interested in crossbows when he was working at the Fairbanks Sportsman’s Warehouse store soon after it opened.

“That opened my eyes to a lot of things,” he said. “When you work at a sporting goods store, you’ve got to play.”

His crossbow, a TenPoint brand Pro Fusion model, is 10 years old and shoots at 300 feet per second.

“It’s not that fast by today’s standards,” he said. “But it’s killed four moose and four bears and has punched a lot of holes in targets.”

Alaska doesn’t allow crossbows in special “archery only” hunts except for hunters who have medical exemptions. Bushke has an exemption for a shoulder injury, so he can take his crossbow on archery hunts. But he sometimes takes it on general hunts where he could use a rifle. In particular, he likes taking the crossbow to his bear bait station.

“It’s a great tool for killing bears,” he said. “If you shoot a bear with it they think they’ve got stung by a bee. They don’t think they’re dead.”

Many crossbows have mechanical aids to help cock them. Bushke’s uses a detachable crank on the stock that turns easily to slowly bring the string back toward the trigger mechanism. After pulling back the string, Bushke loaded the crossbow with a bolt, the term for the short arrows used for crossbows.

Unlike a bow, you don’t have to hold the tension in a crossbow while waiting to fire. After it’s been cocked, the crossbow is ready to fire and just needs a trigger pull to release.

Bushke gave me the most important piece of advice when I got ready to fire: Be careful with hand placement on the crossbow foregrip. Grab it too high, and you’ve put your fingers into the path of the string.

“It’s a mistake you would only make once,” he told me.

Firing the crossbow otherwise feels much like shooting a rifle. I can see why it would be easier to learn to shoot accurately with a crossbow than an actual bow. My first shots all went high and to the right, but a fourth shot landed close to the middle of the target.

It’s easy to be fooled by the weapon’s accuracy at close range and assume it can kill a distant moose. Ginamaria Smith, who coordinates Alaska’s hunter education program, said this is the biggest misconception she’s run into with crossbows. That’s a problem, because people who attempt distance shots with crossbows are likely to wound animals instead of killing them. 

The North American Crossbow Association trade group warns that popular videos of long range crossbow shots have fueled misconceptions about a crossbow’s true range.

“The effective and ethical range for a crossbow is at 50 yards or less,” the group states on its website. “While it is neat to see the 100-yard trick shots, they should never be attempted during any live hunting situation.”

So far about 70 people in Alaska have signed up for crossbow education. The first field tests — on April 15 in Anchorage and on May 16 in Fairbanks — are filling up fast, Smith said.

In the field test, hunters will shoot twice at four 3-D targets at distances they’re likely to encounter in the field. They’ll need to make a kill shot on each target and a double kill on one target.

Denali Wolf Update: A little good news, more bad news

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game approved an Emergency Order closing the wolf hunting/trapping season adjacent to Denali National Park. However, the proposed Denali Buffer legislation is stalled in the Legislature, and controversy sparked over a hunter’s braggadocio photos of dead wolves east of the Park.

First, a little good news: ADF&G issued an Emergency Order immediately closing the Stampede Trail corridor (state land along the northeast boundary of the Park, home to the most easily viewed wolves along the Park Road) to hunting and trapping wolves.

A formal request for the Order was submitted March 24 based on information from Park biologists that five radio-collared Park wolves already had been killed by hunting/trapping this winter. Because only about one in four wolves are collared, there was concern that the total harvest would be much higher – and unfortunately it is. According to the ADF&G, eight wolves were killed so far this winter in the Stampede area, twice the average annual number. That total will increase again when the final state harvest report and spring Park wolf survey are complete.

According to the Order, hunting in the area was closed effective April 2, and the trapping season will end April 9. The seasons were scheduled to end April 15 and April 30, respectively. Trappers have 30 days after the season to report their harvest, so the final tally of wolves killed won’t be known until mid-May.

One of the wolves (apparently) trapped was the alpha male of the Riley Creek pack, which claims territory along the Park Road west of the entrance. Sightings of members of the Riley Creek pack increased the likelihood of visitors seeing wolves from about 5 percent in prior years to 17 percent last summer. Loss of the alpha male is critical to the future of the pack: the remaining wolves may fail to produce pups this spring, or disburse altogether. In recent years the loss of key breeding wolves resulted in the demise of the Grant Creek and Toklat packs; both had territories adjacent to the Riley Creek wolves.

AWA and other groups solicited comments to ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten in support of the emergency closure request. Our concerns were heard in the administration, although in practice the closure shaves only a very minimal amount of time off of the full hunting/trapping seasons.

Bad news: Just a day before the emergency closure request was submitted, the Alaska Senate Resources Committee “set aside” House Bill 105, which would establish a no wolf hunting/trapping buffer on state lands adjacent to Denali’s northeastern boundary. That action stalls – and more than likely kills – the legislation.

Again, AWA and others solicited public comments in favor of HB105 for the Committee hearing. Many were received – so many that Committee Chair Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage) actively solicited comments from the opposition. In a public online trapping forum, Sen. Giessel wrote to Fairbanks trapper Al Barrette:

“…If there are others who oppose the bill, please have them send emails, Al.

I have literally hundreds of support emails…and your one opposition email.”

Rep. Andy Josephson (D-Anchorage) sponsored the bill and worked tirelessly to get it passed by the full House last May, which was a rare win for pro-wildlife legislation. He predicted it was a long shot to move ahead in the more conservative-minded Senate, and that proved true at its first committee hurdle. Nevertheless we owe Andy a heartfelt “thank you” for his heroic work on this and other bills supporting wildlife and the environment.

Bad news, illustrated. The Denali wolf controversy flared on social media last weekend when graphic photos circulated of a hunter proudly posing with an AK-15 semiautomatic rifle, snowmachine and 10 dead wolves. The two photos can be viewed on our website at:http://akwildlife.org/february-2018-wolf-kill-photos/

(Warning: they are graphic and disturbing.)

The initial anonymous email accompanying the photos implied they were Denali wolves killed in the nearby Healy area. When queried, ADF&G and the Alaska Wildlife Troopers issued a press release asserting that the wolves were not killed in the Stampede corridor/Denali area, but were harvested legally about 70 miles east of Denali in February. (Therefore it is unknown if the wolves denned in or could have been seen in the Park.)

However, without a buffer to protect wolves from hunting/trapping, such killing is legal – and certainly does occur – adjacent to the Park boundary.

Furthermore, such egregious killing is all too common statewide under the guise of Alaska’s ongoing Intensive Management (predator control) programs utilizing extended harvest seasons and liberal (or non-existent) harvest limits across multiple species, including bears and coyotes. This “slaughter”, not to be confused with reasonably regulated “hunting” using the principles of fair-chase, is commonplace across Alaska. It’s just not often the public is able to see the perpetrators’ brazen bragging.

If you have not already done so, please sign the online petition, started by Among Wolvesco-author Marybeth Holleman in 2015, asking the federal and state governments to agree to create a no-wolf-kill buffer adjacent to Denali. To date 360,000+ people have signed on.  https://www.thepetitionsite.com/423/700/229/halt-the-killing-of-denali-national-park-wolves/ 

Finally, again, thank you for supporting the Denali wolves and AWA. We are sorry we don’t have better news to report, but accomplishing anything “pro-wildlife” in this state where most politicians are openly “pro hunter/trapper” is an uphill struggle. However, there are still other avenues to pursue, and we will always keep up the fight for these wolves and all of Alaska’s wildlife.

Moose hunter dead from accidental shooting north of Manokotak

  SEP 9, 2017

Brian L. Heinrichsen, 65, killed after accidentally shooting himself with .454 caliber Casull pistol at the start of a moose hunt north of Amanka Lake.  AST says Heinrichsen lives in Puyallup, Washington.

KDLG: A fly-out moose hunting trip ended in tragedy Friday when Brian Leslie Heinrichsen, 65, accidentally shot himself in the chest while pulling a large caliber pistol from a shoulder holster, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Heinrichsen and his hunting partner had arrived at a small, remote lake approximately eight miles north of Amanka Lake that day, and may have still been unpacking their gear, said AST Sgt. Luis Nieves. The victim has hunted in the area before, and he and his hunting partner were lifelong buddies, he said.

The partner, not named by authorities, used a satellite phone to call for help, but the victim was the one who had more experience and apparently also the numbers to call, including for their air taxi Tikchik Airventures. The man called the only number he could find, which was for concierge service on the back of an Alaska Airlines credit card. According to AST, an Alaska Airlines service operator was able to contact the Dillingham dispatcher and Tikchik Airventures to report the incident.

Rick Grant from Tikchik Airventures quickly took state troopers to the scene. According to the investigation, Heinrichsen was likely pulling a .454 Casull pistol from a shoulder holster when he accidentally fired a round into the left side of his chest. The gunshot ended his life within moments, said AST. The .454 Casull is larger and more powerful than the .44 Magnum, and is carried by some hunters for self-defense against bears.

His body was recovered from the scene and flown back to Dillingham, where it was transported to Anchorage for an autopsy.

AST said Heinrichsen listed Hoonah as his address, but contacted his next of kin in Puyallup, Washington, where they believe he now resides.

Stop the Noise

http://www.bvconservation.org/

Stephen Capra

We are living through one of the most difficult periods in conservation history, in a country led by a madman, supported by people that see life through authoritarian rule. The rhetoric and constant stream of nausea created by this leader and his Republican accomplices and excusers isdesigned to keep one off balance, fatigued and scared.

Ignorance and fear are driving a wedge across our nation and people seem more willing than ever to throw away the environment in pursuit of living wages. This has been the turning point for the conservative movement and the crystallization of their efforts to destroy unions, social safety nets and common sense regulation of industry. We are developing a nation of workers, who will work anyway, on any terms, to survive. Nothing has had more direct impact on conservation and protection of species than the destruction of the middle-class that began in earnest during the Reagan years.

We need a society once again that is based in justice and fairness, we need corporations that are forced by rule of law to pay real wages and benefits to all that work for them and we must understand that a stock market built on mergers and acquisitions and returns to shareholders is not good for the environment, because it is killing our middle-class.

Last week I ran into our junior Senator Martin Heinrich, Martin has always been and remains a strong supporter of the environmental causes such as wilderness and monument protections and has been a friend for more than 18 years. When I ran into him I made a proposal, which he said he would give real thought to.

I told him that under the Obama Administration, Republicans continued to introduce legislation no matter if it could pass because they believed in putting down markers and growing their base with legislation that they supported.

In that vein, I suggested that he introduce a package of legislation that was designed to enhance our middle-class and to support a real vision for environmental protection. No half steps, a real vision, something to inspire those who believe in protections for environment and security and jobs for workers across the country, because we cannot continue to see them as separate causes.

The environmental community often brings in different voices when they need support for wilderness or other conservation measures, but the link now is vital and must be reciprocal.

We must support minimum wages and job training and we must demand a real social safety net that is expanded, not chopped. In the conservation realm, we must introduce legislation that is inspiring and designed to capture our nation’s imagination.

Here are a few suggestions, humbly put forth:

  • An end to offshore drilling in the Arctic, our East and West coasts.
  • The immediate protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • 50% increase in investment in alternative energy by 2020.
  • More tax cuts for electric cars and solar.
  • Funding that will completely end the backlog of maintenance for our National Parks in three years.
  • Expansion of our National Park System to include a major Tall Grass Prairie Park of no less than 500,000 acres and three new sites for National Park expansion, not just upgrading an area.
  • Legislation that demands the use of science in classroom textbooks nationwide.
  • Protections to remain and expanded for the threated Monuments on land and in the ocean and a directive to create 10 new Monuments by 2021.
  • Serious funding and legislation for Climate Change and a return to the Paris accords as a leader.
  • No dispersing of the Interior Department across the nation.
  • The directive and funding to increase wilderness in America by 35% by 2024.
  • The end of predator species killing and killing in their dens, period.
  • Expansion of wolf recovery to all Western states.
  • Increase in fees to ranchers for using public lands.
  • Monies for a new restoration and training program designed for rural and ranching communities to restore public lands, waters, andriparian areas. These monies would come from new taxes on the oil and gas industry.
  • 50 million in funding to purchase grazing rights across the West, with more to come by increasing grazing fees.
  • The immediate end to Wildlife Services, with that funding going directly to wildlife programs that support predator species.
  • The expansion and upgrading of the Endangered Species Act.
  • Direct reductions of oil and gas leases by 50 percent by 2020 on public lands.
  • Creating an increase of funding to the EPA by 45% by 2020.
  • Real legislation to control and regulate pesticides in America and increased funding for organic farming, including increased tax incentives.

To do this and to improve the plight of all Americans Congress must move to end the tax cut imposed by Republicans this past December and more taxes must be placed directly on the top 1%.

Increase spending for birth control her at home and internationally.

Stop all the giveaways to corporate America and force them to return monies to American shores.

More taxes must be placed directly on the fossil-fuel industry and that of Power companies that continue to use coal in their power generation.

We must put a direct tax on the use of plastics, plastic bags and the companies that create them, largely funded by the oil and gas industry.

The passage of a real HealthCare legislation (likely single payer), that will reduce the costs of healthcare for all Americans, while ensuring quality care for all. That will save money and create real equality.

Reducing the endless spending on the military, while investing in dialogue, diplomacy and respecting all nations. That common sense element will give us the money to protect our environment, here and abroad.

Finally, we must remove the control of Congress from complete Republican control.

More than anything we must understand the urgency of saving our environment and the strong need to end all the noise and distraction that is the toxic nature of this President and Congress.

We may not get it all, but my hope is that Senator Heinrich and the Democrats in Congress are prepared to be BOLD. It begins with a real vision and the strength to carry it forward.

If we do not act soon, it will simply be too late for this planet. We have no choice, we must be BOLD.

Poulsbo man charged in Alaska for hunting crimes

ANCHORAGE — A Poulsbo man charged earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Alaska is being accused of illegally leading a hunt for Dall sheep inside a national park and falsifying documents.

Jeffrey Harris, 44, also allegedly wrote to another man, who was also charged, that he planned to plant two dead rabbits, tainted with a substance called xylitol that is poisonous to wolves and coyotes, at a bear baiting station. Xylitol is a sweetener that is deadly to canines and birds, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alaska.

“Let them snatch them and have a sweet treat,” Harris allegedly wrote in a Facebook message, obtained by federal investigators according to court documents. Harris was charged for the poisoning as well.

Harris was employed as a horse wrangler and maintenance worker for Ptarmigan Lake Lodge, which provided guided hunting trips at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, the country’s largest national park. Harris, who was not authorized to guide hunts, is accused of illegally leading in 2014 one of the hunts that resulted in the shooting of a sheep. Harris is then accused of falsifying documents to hide his involvement. The person who shot the sheep paid $4,000.

Harris is also accused of illegally trafficking a harvested blonde grizzly bear, then knowingly filing falsified reports, misstating the date the bear was shot as it was out of season, according to court documents.

Two other men were charged in connection to the case, Dale Lackner, 72, from Haines, Alaska, and Casey Richardson, 47, from Huson, Montana.

A man walks on the snow covered boardwalk during a snow storm on January 4, 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A 'bomb cyclone' winter storm has caused every East Coast state, from Maine to Florida, to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo: Mark Makela / Getty Images)A man walks on the snow-covered boardwalk during a snowstorm on January 4, 2018, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A “bomb cyclone” winter storm has caused every East Coast state from Maine to Florida to declare at least one weather advisory, winter storm watch, winter storm warning or blizzard warning. (Photo: Mark Makela / Getty Images)

On January 2, it was colder in Jacksonville, Florida (38 degrees) than it was in Anchorage, Alaska (44 degrees, which tied a record high for that city).

What is wrong with this picture, in addition to the obvious?

Since December 27, at least a dozen people have died from Arctic-cold temperatures that have covered much of the United States, as wind-chill and freezing advisories were issued by the National Weather Service from the border of Canada down to southern Texas, and from Montana all the way across to Maine.

What’s causing the chaotic temperatures? To understand them, we need to look at the globe’s northernmost regions. The Arctic’s extremely cold air is usually trapped within a circular weather pattern known as the Polar Vortex. Prior to anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), that weather pattern was intact and strong, which kept the Arctic’s freezing cold air trapped in the Arctic.

But now, thanks to ACD along with natural variability, that weather pattern is changing, and possibly for good.

What It Means

As global weather patterns are becoming increasingly disrupted by ACD, the polar vortex is being weakened, which is allowing the freezing air to flow out of that region and head south across Canada — and as far down as southern Texas this week.

The total area of global tree cover lost last year was equivalent to the area of the country of New Zealand (approximately 73.4 million acres). This was a staggering 51 percent increase over the previous year’s loss. The University of Maryland study that provided this data cited ACD-driven forest fires and deforestation as the two leading causes, and noted that the wildfires were responsible for the massive spike in coverage loss compared to the previous year.

That phenomenon used to be extremely rare, but is becoming increasingly common as ACD impacts intensify. What is also rare is how long this intense cold snap across the US is lasting — 10 days now and counting.

On Tuesday, for example, Boston tied its seven-day record for the most consecutive days at or below 20 degrees. Meanwhile, during the last week of December more than 1,600 cold temperature records were either tied or broken across the US, making it the second coldest week on record for the country.

As cold as it has been throughout many of the 48 contiguous states, Alaska and other parts of the Arctic are seeing record-warm temperatures.

In addition to the January 2 record in Anchorage, temperatures across the Arctic on that same day were more than 6 degrees warmer than normal.

study published by the American Meteorological Society in September 2017 found that, since 1990, the polar vortex has weakened and meandered more than it had before. The study also reported that the weakening of the vortex was most likely being set in motion by a rapidly warming and melting Arctic region, which was resulting in colder winters across Europe — and occasionally the US.

Danger Compounded by Trump’s Denialism

On December 28, President Donald Trump tweeted:

In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!

Jason Furtado, a University of Oklahoma meteorology professor, told the Associated Press that it is important not to confuse weather with climate. Weather is something that occurs over a period of a few weeks or less in one region, whereas climate occurs over a period of years or decades and is global.

“A few cold days doesn’t disprove climate change,” Furtado said. “That’s just silly. Just like a couple down days on the stock market doesn’t mean the economy is going into the trash.”

Over the last year, there have been approximately three record high temperatures set across the US for every record low temperature.

Furthermore, the last for years have been the four hottest years ever recorded for the planet.

More than 97 percent of climate scientists agree that ACD is real, and that the prime driver of it is CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions stemming from human activity. Of the less than 3 percent of climate scientists who doubt or dispute that fact, the vast majority have been shown to be funded by the fossil fuel industry.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

DAHR JAMAIL

Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with William Rivers Pitt, is available now on Amazon.

Dahr Jamail is also the author of the book, The End of Ice, forthcoming from The New Press.

Bristol Bay Angels basketball coach, killed in boating incident Sunday on Lake Alekn

This article was updated for the Bristol Bay Times – Dutch Harbor Fisherman newspaper.

Sunday’s moose opening in western Bristol Bay ended in tragedy when 35-year-old Bryan Anderson of Naknek died after falling overboard on a trip across Lake Aleknagik. Anderson was hunting with three others on the boat of Jack Savo, Jr., of Dillingham.

According to state troopers, they were boating back across the lake late when Anderson fell into the water.

“One of the passengers actually witnessed him falling off of the boat,” said AST Sgt. Luis Nieves. “That passenger immediately shouted to the operator, Mr. Savo. He maneuvered the boat to recover Mr. Anderson,” finding him unresponsive in the water. Anderson was not wearing a life jacket.

The boaters pulled Anderson to shore and attempted CPR, then brought him on the vessel and headed quickly back to the launch at Aleknagik.

“They were met by local EMS, who then transported Mr. Anderson to Kananakak [Hospital] where they continued lifesaving measures until he was pronounced deceased at approximately 0250 hours,” said Nieves.

Troopers were first notified of the situation a little past midnight. The state medical examiner requested an autopsy.

By Tuesday state troopers had not offered further detail on what caused Anderson to fall overboard Sunday night. Alcohol may have been involved, according to AST.

Nieves said the boat had the required life jackets on board, but at least Anderson was not wearing one when he fell in.

“Even the most fit person … you go into the water without a life jacket, that cold water is going to immediately cause you to take a gasp for air, which can result in people drinking water,” he said, urging people to boat safely and keep the PFDs on, not just in the boat.

http://kdlg.org/post/bryan-anderson-bristol-bay-angels-basketball-coach-killed-boating-incident-sunday-lake-alekn#stream/0

 

Life-and-death vote for wildlife

HSUS logo
Protect Alaska's wildlifeProtect Alaska’s wildlife

Today, Congress will vote on an appalling amendment from Alaska U.S. Rep. Don Young that seeks to open millions of acres of National Park Service (NPS) lands to the ruthless killing of grizzly bears and wolves. These practices should not occur anywhere, least of all on lands managed by the NPS.

Congress nixed a rule that forbid these terrible practices on National Wildlife Refuges earlier in the year. Now they’re aiming at our National Park Service lands. The Young amendment #43 would subject Alaskan wildlife on NPS lands to hunting methods that most Americans find appalling—such as killing wolves and their pups while in their dens, baiting bears with rotting food in order to shoot them point-blank, and luring hibernating black bears out of their dens with artificial light in order to shoot them.

Your voice is needed to help defeat the Young amendment #43. Please make a brief, polite phone call to Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler at (202) 225-3536 now.You can simply say, “Please protect wildlife in the FY18 spending package (H.R. 3354) and vote ‘no’ on the Young amendment #43.”

After you call, please send a follow-up message.

Take action
Thank you for all you do for animals.
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Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO

Alaska hunting guide charged with herding grizzly bears to clients

ANCHORAGE — An Alaska master hunting guide has been charged with using assistants on snowmobiles to herd grizzly bears toward clients, making it easier for hunters to shoot the animals.

Brian Simpson, 55, of Fairbanks, also is charged with guiding on a national preserve without a permit.

Simpson is charged with two counts of aiding in the commission of a state game violation and three counts of guiding on federal land without authorization. All five counts are misdemeanors.

Two assistant guides working for Simpson are charged with using motorized vehicles to drive or herd game.

The charges stem from spring hunting trips last year in western Alaska, according to the Office of Special Prosecutions.

In a complaint filed this month, prosecutors said two hunting clients in April 2016 arrived in Shishmaref and traveled to Serpentine Hot Springs within Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.

On April 26, according to the complaint, the hunting party spotted a bear and Simpson ordered an assistant to “turn it around.” The assistant used a snowmobile to chase the bear in deep snow, trailing from 30 yards behind, until it was tired. The assistant guide then chased the bear toward the hunter. One of the hunters shot the bear from 150 yards away.

A similar scenario played out two days later, according to the complaint.

After a hunting party guided by Simpson spotted a bear, a second assistant guide chased the animal with a snowmobile, cut it off from escaping and herded it toward the hunting party. A hunting client shot the second bear.

The assistant guide told an investigating trooper that chasing bears with snowmobiles was common practice in hunts guided by Simpson.

An arraignment for Simpson is scheduled for Sept. 15 in Nome.