Crime & Courts

'Alaskan Bush People' stars cited for falsifying fishing, hunting licenses

Six members of the Brown family, featured on the reality television show "Alaskan Bush People," have been charged with Alaska hunting and fishing license violations related to their residency in Alaska.

The Browns -- Billy, Ami and their seven children -- are characterized by the Discovery Channel as "a recently discovered family that was born and raised wild."

The second season of "Alaskan Bush People" premiered on Jan. 2, setting ratings records when 3.1 million viewers tuned in, according to the Discovery Channel. The season finale aired July 24.

Discovery Channel did not return requests for comment for this story.

Citations for minor offenses filed in Glennallen District Court on Aug. 5 show at least six of the Browns purchased resident hunting and fishing licenses but failed to meet Alaska Department of Fish and Game residency requirements.

It's not the first time the Browns have faced potential legal trouble connected to questions about their Alaska residency. In October 2014, a Juneau grand jury charged six of the family members with 60 counts of first-degree unsworn falsification and first- and second-degree theft after an out-of-state fraud tip prompted the Alaska Department of Revenue to investigate the Brown family's Permanent Fund dividend applications. The criminal cases are ongoing, with the next hearings set for November.

Most Alaska residents are eligible to receive a PFD if they have lived in the state for at least one year.


The Fish and Game citations issued in late July say Solomon, Joshua, Noah, Matthew, Billy and Gabriel Brown bought the licenses shortly after moving to the state following time living in Texas and Colorado.

"(Billy) Brown moved to Alaska on Aug. 24, 2012. Prior to his move, Brown maintained a residence in Colorado and Texas," one citation reads. The date of the offense listed on the court document is Oct. 11 of that year.

The five other citations read similarly. The citations say the licenses in question were purchased at Kenny Lake Mercantile, a business near Glennallen that offers services like camping spots and a laundromat. All of the licenses were purchased in October 2012.

Though the licenses were allegedly purchased in Glennallen, all of the Browns' Alaska mailing addresses were listed on the citations as a single P.O. box in Hoonah.

Alaska State Troopers first reported the alleged false statements through online dispatches in late July. Troopers did not immediately return a request for information about how the investigation began.

Making a false statement on a Fish and Game license resulted in $300 fines for the Browns, according to the citations. They can pay the fines within 30 days or appear in court in Glenallen. Court dates haven't been set, according to online court records.

Additionally, Fish and Game issued citations to Amora and Joshua Brown after an Alaska wildlife trooper on the patrol vessel Enforcer spoke with them and discovered they were fishing without current sportfishing licenses, according to an online troopers dispatch. Those alleged offenses took place on Sept. 24, 2013 in Hoonah, troopers said.

Jerzy Shedlock

Jerzy Shedlock is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2017.