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Why You Shouldn't Tell an AK Wildlife Trooper You Caught a Chupacabra

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December 18, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Tell an AK Wildlife Trooper You Caught a Chupacabra

By Joe Cermele

Here's a funny (or not so funny, depending on how you look at it) story posted on the website of The Alaska Dispatch. Alaskan fishing guides are required by law to submit logbooks to the Alaska Department of Fish & Game every year so their catches can be tracked. Matthew Terry, an Alabama resident who guides on the Kasilof River during the summer, decided to spice up his catch report a bit noting that besides loads of salmon, he also boated a bluefin tuna, "jack" beluga whale, a blue whale, and last but not least, a chupacabra (below). Mildly amusing, right? Yeah, the Alaska Wildlife Troopers didn't think so. Question is, did Terry make a boo-boo really worthy of punishment, or do Alaska Wildlife Troopers just have zero sense of humor?

Here's a little snippet from the story:

"Terry will be spending the winter in Alabama,'' DeWitt reported. "But he's already looking forward to next May when the salmon will return to the Kenai and Kasilof rivers."

Actually, he might be back sooner than that. Troopers reported they on Monday issued a summons for him to appear in the Kenai District Court within 30 days to answer to the charge of "failure to complete logbook as required by Alaska Department of Fish and Game.'' Terry can, however, avoid the appearance by paying a $210 fine.

I personally think The Alaska DFW's reaction to the whole thing is a bit much, but at the same time, this is why I never joke with Fish & Game officers. You just don't know which ones will laugh, and which will search your boat for an hour based on a report that you never thought they'd take seriously. 

Comments (13)

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from Matthew Matzek wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

You have to be careful with what you say around all law enfocement. Some can take the joke, some can't. As this story proves. But that still don't mean that it aint funny!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I can sort of see their point. If every joker out there sent in a couple of "silly" reports, before long the department of fish and game would be wading through that crap looking for the real information that they are after for ever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

You would think everything would be cool since he released them, right?

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from Bryan01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

A $210 fine sounds about right to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I understand both sides here, but after working an a job that gathers reports from lower, and then reporting all that information to higher, even as funny as they seem when they are submitted, they just become a pain in the butt for everyone else.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from habben97 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

that picture scared the crap out of me!

seriously, though. you shouldn't joke with the game warden.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Hi...

HEY...I think I know that guy...!!

Actually...pretty good photoshopping...although you can see where the 'hands' are attached to the wrists in the pic.

But, if he indeed did break the 'rules', well, then he's gotta face up to it, eh?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from finnyk wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Here in Georgia, he could be arrested for a felony for making a false statement to a State department -- a felony; up to 5 years in prison. Is it really worth that much to annoy the game warden? Presumably, Alaska has a similar law and the game warden showed that he is capable of rational thought by only going after a fine after he surely realized the real nature of this prank. $210 fine for being a jack*** seems fair.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from John Bowers wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Obama told me we weren't going to have any more kids, just more lies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Storm Hall wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I can see how that kind of stuff could get old after a while I mean this guy probably isn't the only person that puts stupid stuff in his reports so a fine seems fair to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ableskeever wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Plane ticket to Alaska from Alabama, $1050.
Fine for lying on your report, $210.
Being made fun of by the sporting world because you tried to mess with the game warden, PRICELESS.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rich LaRocco wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Two friends of mine thought it would be funny when they hung a deer that had been dead for weeks in a tree near their hunting camp in Idaho. The local warden was mighty displeased when he saw nothing but a dried hide and a few bones instead of evidence of poaching. So he harassed them for a few days and finally gave them a ticket for "spotlighting wildlife" when all they did was shine a light at the creek as they filled their water barrel one evening. They had no weapons in the vehicle, saw no game and were totally legal, but he knew they would probably pay the fine rather than waste gasoline, money and time to drive several hundred miles to fight the charge, and he was right. Please note that other friends have received tickets for wasting game meat in Alaska when they did not exit the wilderness with enough meat to satisfy police officers. That was after a grizzly ate most of the meat before they could pack it out. They told me the next time they hunt caribou, they might shoot an extra one to make sure they have enough meat. Again, the officer gave them a ticket, knowing full well that the hunters couldn't afford to buy round trip airfare for two just to mount a defense. I have two friends who successfully fought game officers in court and won. One of them was asked by a game officer to shoot a wounded antelope that was dragging its guts as it crossed under a fence that bordered another ranch. The officer took the pronghorn to see if he could find the shooter. The next day the officer's supervisor showed up at camp and gave my pal a ticket. My friend owns a company that installs electric wires in skyscrapers, so he could afford to contest the charge even though in the end he spent around $27,000 to defend himself. The supervisor eventually was forced to retire after this and several similar incidents came to light, one involving an outfitter whom he constantly harassed because he didn't like the idea of outfitters "making money off wildlife," evidently unaware that's how he made his living, too. And then there was my friend who packed into an Idaho wilderness to hunt bighorn sheep, shot a ram, recovered it the next day and then hurt a leg so badly that he had to walk backwards back to the trailhead to find a packer to help him. Unfortunately, by the time he got to the road, 48 hours had passed, and so when he asked a game warden where he could find a packer licensed in the area, he technically had violated a rule that requires hunters to pack out their game within 48 hours. He was put in jail for two and a half days until a judge could see him. A former fish and game officer and an outdoor writer who wanted a clean reputation, he had to sell some acreage where he wanted to build his dream house to finance his defense. He eventually won in court after spending tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars, for which he will never be reimbursed. He underwent so much stress that he ended up with a stroke. Even after he was acquitted, the officer who had cited him wrote to a magazine that published his story about the hunt to accuse him of being a wildlife violator. I support conscientious and hard-working game officers and hope they do a great job of catching poachers, especially those criminals who hunt out of season and particularly those vandals who take nothing but the horns or antlers. But it seems to me that too much time and energy is wasted on trying to get otherwise law-abiding citizens on minor technicalities or innocent violations, such as forgetting to tag a deer before posing for a photograph with it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jon Bowden wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

You know, I'd like to have good feelings towards wardens & LE in general, but this story -and the ones related by Rich LaRocco? - reinforce some of my unhappy experiences. They're not your friends.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from Rich LaRocco wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Two friends of mine thought it would be funny when they hung a deer that had been dead for weeks in a tree near their hunting camp in Idaho. The local warden was mighty displeased when he saw nothing but a dried hide and a few bones instead of evidence of poaching. So he harassed them for a few days and finally gave them a ticket for "spotlighting wildlife" when all they did was shine a light at the creek as they filled their water barrel one evening. They had no weapons in the vehicle, saw no game and were totally legal, but he knew they would probably pay the fine rather than waste gasoline, money and time to drive several hundred miles to fight the charge, and he was right. Please note that other friends have received tickets for wasting game meat in Alaska when they did not exit the wilderness with enough meat to satisfy police officers. That was after a grizzly ate most of the meat before they could pack it out. They told me the next time they hunt caribou, they might shoot an extra one to make sure they have enough meat. Again, the officer gave them a ticket, knowing full well that the hunters couldn't afford to buy round trip airfare for two just to mount a defense. I have two friends who successfully fought game officers in court and won. One of them was asked by a game officer to shoot a wounded antelope that was dragging its guts as it crossed under a fence that bordered another ranch. The officer took the pronghorn to see if he could find the shooter. The next day the officer's supervisor showed up at camp and gave my pal a ticket. My friend owns a company that installs electric wires in skyscrapers, so he could afford to contest the charge even though in the end he spent around $27,000 to defend himself. The supervisor eventually was forced to retire after this and several similar incidents came to light, one involving an outfitter whom he constantly harassed because he didn't like the idea of outfitters "making money off wildlife," evidently unaware that's how he made his living, too. And then there was my friend who packed into an Idaho wilderness to hunt bighorn sheep, shot a ram, recovered it the next day and then hurt a leg so badly that he had to walk backwards back to the trailhead to find a packer to help him. Unfortunately, by the time he got to the road, 48 hours had passed, and so when he asked a game warden where he could find a packer licensed in the area, he technically had violated a rule that requires hunters to pack out their game within 48 hours. He was put in jail for two and a half days until a judge could see him. A former fish and game officer and an outdoor writer who wanted a clean reputation, he had to sell some acreage where he wanted to build his dream house to finance his defense. He eventually won in court after spending tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars, for which he will never be reimbursed. He underwent so much stress that he ended up with a stroke. Even after he was acquitted, the officer who had cited him wrote to a magazine that published his story about the hunt to accuse him of being a wildlife violator. I support conscientious and hard-working game officers and hope they do a great job of catching poachers, especially those criminals who hunt out of season and particularly those vandals who take nothing but the horns or antlers. But it seems to me that too much time and energy is wasted on trying to get otherwise law-abiding citizens on minor technicalities or innocent violations, such as forgetting to tag a deer before posing for a photograph with it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Matthew Matzek wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

You have to be careful with what you say around all law enfocement. Some can take the joke, some can't. As this story proves. But that still don't mean that it aint funny!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from finnyk wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Here in Georgia, he could be arrested for a felony for making a false statement to a State department -- a felony; up to 5 years in prison. Is it really worth that much to annoy the game warden? Presumably, Alaska has a similar law and the game warden showed that he is capable of rational thought by only going after a fine after he surely realized the real nature of this prank. $210 fine for being a jack*** seems fair.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dighunter wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I can sort of see their point. If every joker out there sent in a couple of "silly" reports, before long the department of fish and game would be wading through that crap looking for the real information that they are after for ever.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

You would think everything would be cool since he released them, right?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

A $210 fine sounds about right to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I understand both sides here, but after working an a job that gathers reports from lower, and then reporting all that information to higher, even as funny as they seem when they are submitted, they just become a pain in the butt for everyone else.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from habben97 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

that picture scared the crap out of me!

seriously, though. you shouldn't joke with the game warden.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Hi...

HEY...I think I know that guy...!!

Actually...pretty good photoshopping...although you can see where the 'hands' are attached to the wrists in the pic.

But, if he indeed did break the 'rules', well, then he's gotta face up to it, eh?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from John Bowers wrote 1 year 13 weeks ago

Obama told me we weren't going to have any more kids, just more lies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Storm Hall wrote 1 year 12 weeks ago

I can see how that kind of stuff could get old after a while I mean this guy probably isn't the only person that puts stupid stuff in his reports so a fine seems fair to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ableskeever wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Plane ticket to Alaska from Alabama, $1050.
Fine for lying on your report, $210.
Being made fun of by the sporting world because you tried to mess with the game warden, PRICELESS.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jon Bowden wrote 50 weeks 4 days ago

You know, I'd like to have good feelings towards wardens & LE in general, but this story -and the ones related by Rich LaRocco? - reinforce some of my unhappy experiences. They're not your friends.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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