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Lawmaker seeks gaming change that would put moose-hunting derbies alongside bingo

STEVEN NOWERS

An Alaska lawmaker from North Pole has introduced a bill that would add big bull moose-hunting derbies to the state's permitted gaming activities.

The legislation by Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson would add the derbies to a list that includes activities such as bingo.

The state House Resources Committee heard testimony on Monday on the legislation, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/4udMBn) reported Thursday.

Among those who spoke was Joe Koss of the state Department of Revenue's gaming unit. He said the proposed activity would fall under the purview of his office.

"While hunting is an exercise of skill, there's still an element of chance," he said. "You might never see anything, you might miss, whatever."

Wilson said he was promoting the bill on behalf of the Tanana Valley Sportsmen's Association and the University of Alaska Fairbanks' rifle team so those groups could hold fundraisers.

The idea would be to sell tickets for hunters to join a derby, with prizes handed out at the end of a hunting season for the biggest moose.

The bill would not increase the number of hunting permits available but instead rely on the existing permitting process and hunting system in the state, according to Wilson.

Mike Tinker with the Tanana Valley Sportsmen's Association's said he believes hunters in the field will always seek the biggest game animal they can find.

"We're really not promoting anything here that's going to shift hunting numbers," he said.

The bill remains in committee, with technical clarifications planned.

 



Associated Press