Alaska News

Pennsylvania man loses hunting guide license for illegal bear bait stations

A Pennsylvania man lost his big game guide license after pleading guilty to eight offenses in Alaska involving illegal bear bait stations, Alaska prosecutors said.

Clifford Smith, 41, pleaded guilty to eight guiding and hunting offenses on Wednesday, according to a written statement from the Alaska Department of Law.

Smith, a resident of Dunmore, Pennsylvania, had his big game guide license revoked, and he will pay a $5,000 fine.

Alaska State Troopers first got a complaint about Smith in 2014 when they were told his bear bait station was too close to a lodge, the statement said.

In Alaska, bear bait stations can't be within one mile of a dwelling, business, school or campground. All bait, litter and equipment must be removed from the station when hunting is done for the season.

Troopers found that Smith's bear bait station was within one mile of three different dwellings, and that it was littered with "a substantial amount of garbage," the statement said.

In October 2016, troopers again inspected Smith's bear bait stations, and again found that they were littered with trash.

Along with losing his guide license, he can't hunt for a year, and afterward must provide photos as proof that he cleaned up his bait stations, according to the statement.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.