Wolf Song of Alaska News

Maine Residents Plead No Contest to Illegal Outfitting in Alaska

Associated Press / KTUU-TV / December 4, 2007

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Three residents of Maine will pay hefty fines after pleading no contest to multiple charges of illegal outfitting and illegal bear baiting.

Lester Conklin, Marie Conklin and Jason Conklin -- all of Patten, Maine -- entered pleas yesterday (Monday).

Lester Conklin also pleaded no contest to killing a grizzly bear without a guide and unsworn falsification.

He was fined $44,000.

Marie Conklin was fined $18,000 and Jason Conklin was fined $8,000.

Jail time for all three was suspended but their hunting, guiding and baiting privileges in Alaska were suspended for five to 10 years.

Alaska State Troopers say the Conklins operated a lodge in 2005 and 2006 at Donkey Creek Lake 44 miles southwest of Talkeetna, outfitting clients with black bear hunts over bait.

Troopers say the Conklins did not have a commercial big game guide-outfitter license and operated bear bait stations too close to their lodge.

Troopers say they also used sport-caught fish as bait.

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