Soldiers falsify fishing, hunting licenses

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2007

ANCHORAGE - Of those who falsify information on their hunting or fishing licenses, members of the military are the easiest to catch, according to wildlife troopers.

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That was evident last week when 12 men from Fort Wainwright who tried to save money by lying about their Alaska residency each incurred $300 in fines from state wildlife troopers.

The citations were the second batch issued to Wainwright outdoorsmen by Fairbanks troopers, who are trolling for people who make false claims on fishing or hunting license applications.

Eielson, Fort Richardson and Elmendorf hunters and fishermen probably can expect similar enforcement efforts by Anchorage wildlife troopers, captain Burke Waldron said.

"It's easier to prove the date of arrival for military guys," said wildlife trooper Joe Paul. "The nonmilitary ones are a lot more intensive investigation for us."

Military members make up a significant portion of those who lie about their residency, Waldron said, partly because every year brings a wave of new soldiers to the state.

But Paul said the violators were well aware they were breaking the law.

"They knew it was wrong," he said. "It states right there on the license that all the information you give is true and correct. They're well aware of the consequences."

Catching nonmilitary violators can mean tracking down landlords and employers or contacting other states to see if someone has a resident license or is registered to vote elsewhere, Waldron said.

Paul said he has checked between 2,500 and 3,000 licenses in the last two weeks.

A person must be in Alaska for 12 months to qualify for resident fees.

Of the 12 citations Paul issued on Saturday, nine were for hunting licenses. Christopher Durham, 23, was additionally cited for taking two caribou without a nonresident tag. He forfeited a freezer full of caribou meat that troopers donated to a charity, Paul said.

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