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Crime & Courts

Colorado hunting guide accused of wasting meat fined $35,000

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: June 8
  • Published June 8

A hunting guide from Colorado charged with wasting game and filing false records in the Yukon-Koyukuk region was sentenced this week to 30 days in jail and a $35,000 fine, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Thomas G. Shankster, 62, on Monday entered guilty pleas in Aniak court to four of eight original charges against him, all stemming from an investigation that began in 2014, troopers say.

Along with the jail time and fine, Shankster will be on probation for a year.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding in the commission of a violation and two counts of failing to report a violation, troopers said in an online dispatch.

An investigation into Shankster and his guide business, Alaska Trophy Hunts, began in fall 2014 when wildlife troopers in McGrath found evidence that Shankster failed to fully harvest edible meat from moose and caribou on at least five occasions, according to previous reports.

Shankster also failed to report two known violations by assistant guides. On one occasion, a sublegal sheep was taken, and on another, antlers were taken before meat, troopers said. Shankster also falsified a hunt record and claimed meat had been harvested when it had not been, troopers said.

Investigators took samples of spoiled meat from caribou and moose carcasses, troopers say. Horns from a sublegal sheep were also confiscated during the investigation.

Nine troopers conducted the investigation over nearly 1,000 hours, interviewing at least 41 witnesses or suspects.

The Alaska Trophy Hunts website described Shankster as a bush pilot, trapper, tanner and master guide working in Alaska since 1985.

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