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Guide pleads guilty to illegal moose hunt

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010

DENALI NATIONAL PARK - A commercial guide has been fined for leading an illegal moose hunt inside Denali National Park.

Magistrate Judge Scott Oravec accepted a plea agreement last week under which Annette M. Keith of Healy was fined $2,000 for illegal hunting in the park, $2,000 for off-road vehicle travel and $3,000 for operating a business within the park without a permit.

Keith also lost her guiding privileges for three years and was placed on three years' probation.

Keith was co-owner of Castle Rock Outfitters. In September 2007, she and her brother-in-law were guiding a client from Florida who paid $9,250 for a moose hunt when a Denali ranger spotted the three more than two miles inside the park boundary. The hunters had driven ATVs to within a quarter mile of a large congregation of moose and were targeting a 60-inch bull.

A ranger and trooper in a helicopter landed next to the hunting party before the moose was shot.

The brother-in-law, William J. Keith, has yet to be charged with a crime. A National Park Service spokeswoman said authorities were waiting for the resolution of Annette Keith's case before making a decision.

The client, unaware the hunt was illegal, will not face charges.

Chief ranger Pete Armington said the park will continue joint operations with Alaska Wildlife Troopers to protect park wildlife from illegal hunting.

"By combining efforts and resources, both agencies can do a more effective job of enforcing hunting regulations both inside the park and on adjacent state lands," Armington said.



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