A Yakutat big-game guide lost his Alaska hunting privileges for three years after Juneau District Court jurors found him guilty of seven counts of falsely claiming residency.
James Keeline, 65, whose Web site listed an Iowa telephone number as well as one in Yakutat, operated See Alaska with Jim H. Keeline, Inc. His site shows hunting brown bears was his specialty, but he also guided clients to fishing and hunting mountain goats, moose and waterfowl.
According to court documents, he has a home and a hunting lodge on the east side of Icy Bay, at the mouth of the Caetani River, 65 miles west of Yakutat. He claimed Alaska residency to obtain annual hunting licenses and two-year licenses to serve as a hunting guide.
Court records show that he told Juneau District Judge Keith Levy at trial last month that the sentence would put him out of business.
In addition to ordering Keeline's hunting privileges forfeited while he is on probation for three years, Levy imposed $9,500 in fines, with another $9,500 suspended. He also ordered the defendant to complete 140 hours of community service.
Levy suspended 90-day jail sentences for each of the seven counts.
Court records show that Alaska State Trooper Tod J. Machacek, who testified at trial, initially received a complaint from the state Fish and Game Department alleging Keeline was claiming Alaska residency while living in Iowa. On Keeline's Web site, he found Keeline was in Spirit Lake, Iowa, from mid-October to the beginning of April.
The officer further found postal records showed Keeline changed his address and forwarded his mail between Spirit Lake and Yakutat twice a year.
Keeline was represented at trial by Wayne Anthony Ross of Anchorage, who argued his client was a resident. In pretrial documents, the defense stated Keeline moved to Alaska in 1968 to work for Fish and Game through 1973. In 1976, he became a registered guide, and he obtained his business license in 1978 before building his home and hunting lodge in 1985.
Tony Carroll can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.