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Illegal Hunting Nets Alabama Man $13,000 Fine, Five Years Probation

Alaska Digest / Anchorage Daily News / May 19, 2005

Glennallen - An Alabama man was fined $13,000 after pleading no contest in state court Tuesday to charges of illegally hunting grizzly bears, caribou, Dall sheep and moose from 2001 to 2003, Alaska State Troopers said.

Gary Ickes, 60, killed at least one moose and one caribou in his hunts, troopers said. He had Alaska resident hunting tags, though, for the other animals.

"It doesn't really make a difference if he was successful (hunting). In the state of Alaska, there's not a difference between hunting for an animal and getting one and hunting for an animal and not getting one," said Sgt. Bernard Chastain with the Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement.

An extensive investigation into Ickes began when an employee of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park stationed in Slana saw Ickes come into the park's office in 2003 and request resident rural subsistence tags, according to court documents. The employee did not think Ickes was a resident of Slana, a town 50 miles southwest of Tok in central Alaska with a population of 110 people. The employee said Ickes had Alabama license plates on his vehicle, the documents said.

Ickes owned property in Slana, according to court documents. Chastain said that while Ickes may have lived in the town during the summer, he was not a qualified resident.

Attempts to reach Ickes on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Ickes pleaded no contest to one count of making a false statement on a hunting license, one count of taking a caribou in a closed season, one count of failing to obtain a nonresident grizzly bear locking tag, one count of nonresident hunting grizzlies without a guide and one count of nonresident hunting Dall sheep without a guide. The court also suspended his sportfishing, hunting and trapping licenses for four years. He was placed on probation for five years.

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