Hunting show host charged with poaching in Alaska

375 Ruger Fan

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Another sad story that won't help the mainstream, ethical hunters.

Hunting show host charged with poaching in Alaska

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2015/09/14/tv-host-poaching-alaska/72289704/

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The host of the Sportsman Channel hunting show The Syndicate was charged Monday with poaching in northwest Alaska.

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said grizzly bears, moose, caribou and Dall sheep were illegally killed in the Noatak National Preserve, and some of the illegal kills ended up on the cable television show.

Prosecutors charged a host of the show, Clark W. Dixon, 41, of Hazelhurst, Miss., with two felony violations of the Lacey Act.
 
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James.Grage

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This is interesting.

Being a non resident, they would have had to have used a guide for the Grizzly Bear and Dall Sheep.
 

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Reading the USA Today article it appears the guy was running an Illegal Outfitting operation.

NO LICENSE.
Conducting hunts without being properly licensed to do so. Guiding for Grizzly Bear in 2010.

Without a license he obviously would not care where he was taking the hunters.


Here's a good Question: What is your Outfitters License/Permit Number????
 

TravisB

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I think I'll wait to hear the non-USA Today version of the story. No doubt something's amiss, but that newspaper is a poor source of accurate information.
 

Rob404

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I think I'll wait to hear the non-USA Today version of the story. No doubt something's amiss, but that newspaper is a poor source of accurate information.
Yea,,thank God we have the internet:LOL:
 

sierraone

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If the story reported is true, this is exactly what we want, a prosecution. Whether you are an anti or you hunt six months out of the year, both should be able to agree on the poaching of our game animals!
 

Red Leg

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This cable sports industry is interesting. Like every business it is made up of all kinds. I don't know this character, but too many are bubba's looking for free opportunities to hunt. Outfitter hosts the personality for 30 mins of advertising and Joe Bob shoots whatever ( I am, by the way, a twelfth generation Southerner - so I know Joe Bob). The show profits cover the costs of getting personality and cameraman to and from the location. Some of the programs have good sponsors and hosts with fairly deep pockets - they can usually be spotted by their HD photography. The others are shoe string operations characterized by low production values. Those productions would seem to be inherently rife with the opportunity to link up with a questionable outfitter.
 

sierraone

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Yea,,thank God we have the internet:LOL:

For everything I like about the internet, there is something I don't like about it, especially for our kids and grand kids. But we are stuck with it whether we like it or not. To my knowledge every news organization has an internet web site. Our initial news will regardless of the subject, will be reported on the internet. It will take several days or weeks for the details to wash out. In some cases we won't get the facts laid out until during or after a trial. Point is that if I had a hunt booked with Mr. Dixon, there is no doubt that I would cancel the hunt at this point. If he request a trial, it may be a year into the future. Only if he has a trial and found not guilty or the charges are dropped before trial would there even be a possibility booking a hunt with this man again. So as a previous poster wrote, we may not have all of the facts as yet. But depending upon your individual position, you may not can wait for all of the facts.
 

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I think I'll wait to hear the non-USA Today version of the story. No doubt something's amiss, but that newspaper is a poor source of accurate information.

Fair enough.
 

BRICKBURN

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... and this is what I love about the internet. You can find facts.


Sportsman Channel reality show stars charged with illegal hunting in Alaska

Posted Today At 2:37am

UPDATED:


The host of a cable television hunting show has been charged with poaching in northwest Alaska.

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler says grizzly bears, moose, caribou and Dall sheep were illegally killed in the Noatak National Preserve, and some of the illegal kills ended up on the Sportsman Channel television show "The Syndicate."

Prosecutors charged a host of the show, Clark W. Dixon, of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, with two felony violations of the Lacey Act.

The 41-year-old is charged with taking a grizzly bear for a fee in 2010 without being a licensed and registered big game hunting guide. He's also charged with conducting an illegal outfitting operation since 2009.

Two production companies and another individual were cited for filming and airing video without a commercial permit.

Sportsman Channel spokesman Tom Caraccioli says the channel has no comment.

-- The Associated Press

For more on the charges, here is the statement from U.S. Attorney’s Office. Find the original KTUU story below.

Charged in separate cases are Clark W. Dixon, 41, of Hazelhurst, Mississippi; Charles W. Dixon, 70, of Brookhaven; Mississippi, Randolph Goza, 48, of Wasilla, Alaska; Terry Goza, 71, of Hazelhurst, Mississipi; Clarence Michael Osborne, 53, of Madison, Mississippi; Shannon Dale Hooks, 54, of Mendenhall, Mississippi; Lance David Walker, 37, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Fulton Josef Wold, 41, of Nashville, Tennessee, and Robert Scott Viner, 40, of Ridgeland, Mississippi.

According to the charging documents, Clark W. Dixon, a featured host on the cable TV hunting show “The Syndicate,” was charged with two felony violations of the federal Lacey Act for his role in the illegal take of big game. The first charge against Clark W. Dixon alleges that in 2010 Dixon and Clarence Michael (“Mike”) Osborne, who is charged separately, illegally took a grizzly bear, for a fee, same-day airborne, and without Clark Dixon being a licensed and registered Alaska big game guide. In the second charge, Clark W. Dixon is charged with conducting an illegal outfitting operation on the Noatak National Preserve from 2009 to the present. Assisting Clark Dixon in the operation, as alleged, were Randolph Goza and Charles W. Dixon, both of whom are pilots.

The investigation as charged alleges that, at the time the violations were committed, Clark W. Dixon falsely claimed Alaska residency status while being a resident of the state of Mississippi. The charges against Dixon reflect that he lied about his residency status in order to take advantage of Alaska resident hunting privileges.

Charles W. Dixon, who is Clark W. Dixon’s father, is charged with two counts of violating the Lacey Act and one count of criminal forfeiture which seeks forfeiture of a STOLQuest SQ-4 aircraft. As a basis for forfeiture of the aircraft it is alleged that Charles W. Dixon used the aircraft in the illegal outfitting, guiding and transporting operation, in addition to using the aircraft to transport unlawfully taken game taken by Clark W. Dixon and others.

Randall (“Randy”) Goza, Terry Goza, Michael Osborne, Shannon Hooks, Lance Walker, and Fulton Wold are separately charged with the illegal take of various Alaska big game species, with all, except Mr. Hooks, hunting out of Clark Dixon’s illegal hunting camp within the Noatak National Preserve. Unlawfully taken species of game as alleged include grizzly bear, moose, caribou and Dall sheep, with all of those species charged as being taken through illegal hunting methods such as same-day airborne (Randy Goza, Terry Goza, Osborne) unpermitted and untagged takes, (Hooks, Wold, Walker, Osborne) and taking grizzly bear without a guide or tag, while permitting Clark Dixon or Charles Dixon to unlawfully claim the bear kills as their own (Osborne, Hooks, Walker). Robert Viner has been cited in Mississippi, through this investigation, for the illegal transport of an unlawfully taken brown bear.

Mr. Viner has admitted guilt in connection with the charges, and has paid a $3250 fine.

It is further alleged that Clark Dixon used and broadcasted video footage from these illegal hunts on the Noatak National Preserve for use on the hunting show, “The Syndicate,” without obtaining a permit from the Noatak Preserve for conducting a commercial operation. Citations from the National Park Service for conducting filming operations on the Noatak Preserve without a permit have been issued to The Outdoor Syndicate, LLC, Reno, Nevada, its owner, Michael P. Dianda, and an editing studio, Zap Lab, Ltd, Reno, Nevada. The citations were issued because Clark W. Dixon and another professional videographer acquired footage for, and used the footage on The Syndicate, without obtaining a permit to commercially film on the Preserve.

All individuals in the Syndicate investigation charged today have been charged in separate cases. The following is an identification key referencing the uncharged individuals referred to in each case.

Clark Dixon case – Individuals: A: Clarence Osborne, B: Charles Dixon, C: Randolph Goza

Charles Dixon case – Individuals A: Clarence Osborne, B: Clark Dixon C: Randolph Goza

Randy Goza case—Individuals A: Clark Dixon, B: Clarence Osborne, C: Charles Dixon, D: Terry Goza

Terry Goza case – Individuals A: Randolph Goza, B: Clark Dixon

Michael Osborne case – Individuals A: Clark Dixon, B: Randolph Goza, C: Charles Dixon

Shannon Hooks case – Individuals A: Clark Dixon, Uncharged B: Charles Dixon

Lance Walker case – Individuals A: Clark Dixon, B: Charles Dixon

Fulton Wold case – Individual A: Clark Dixon

Arraignment dates have not been set. The multi-state investigation continues.

Ms. Loeffler commends the work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Law

Enforcement, and the National Park Service who jointly investigated this case in Alaska and elsewhere.

ORIGINAL POST:

By Kyle Hopkins / KTUU

The stars of a hunting reality show called “The Syndicate” have been charged in federal court with conducting illegal hunts in Alaska for years. All big game animals documented on the show here since 2011 were illegally killed, the charges say.

Clark W. Dixon and Lance D. Walker, listed as "core" members of the Sportsman Channel reality show, are accused of overseeing or facilitating a series of illegal hunting activities in the Noatak National Preserve, according to the charges and prosecutors.

“Each Alaska hunt, depicted on ‘The Syndicate,’ falsely portrayed, due to selective editing or other means, the apparently legal take of Alaska big game when in truth in fact all of the Alaska big game animals documented on ‘the Syndicate’ were illegally killed," prosecutors wrote in the charges against Dixon.



Dixon is accused of:

-- Filing false paperwork related to a brown bear kill.

-- Fraudulently claiming to be a resident of Alaska when he was a Mississippi resident.

-- Illegally outfitting non-resident hunters for money or other payment in order to facilitate recording of footage for ‘The Syndicate’ television show.

Federal prosecutors say Dixon, Walker and as many as eight other people people are being charged in connection to the illegal hunts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to talk to reporters about the case today in Anchorage.

This story will be updated with details on those charges as more information becomes available.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki said footage from the hunts in question has already aired on television.

Walker is described on the show’s Sportsman Channel website as Dixon’s “Syndicate teammate.” He is accused of shooting and killing a brown bear without being accompanied by a registered big game guide, without an appropriate state draw permit and without the required non-resident brown bear tag. He also is charged with being involved in an illegal wolf kill the same year in the Kelly River drainage.

Prosecutors are asking that Dixon forfeit a Stol Quest SQ-4 aircraft and equipment used in allegedly illegal hunts.

The Sportsman Channel website describes 'The Syndicate' as a weekly look at hunters "who share an intense passion for hunting together in the wild."

"There will be a new chase each week as these men and women will search and track down their desired game. Syndicate Hunting believes in family, team, friends and the ethical chase of wild game," the official description says.

A spokesman for The Sportsman Channel did not immediately respond to questions.

Mallory Peebles contributed to this report.



Source: http://kbyr.com/ktuu-news
 

Velo Dog

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Unfortunately, the USA Courts have lost their teeth and will be very soft on these human slime.
 

thi9elsp

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Unfortunately, the USA Courts have lost their teeth and will be very soft on these human slime.

VeloDog you're right. The penalties are not as severe as I wished they were. Plus, these cases are tough to prove. If these people are guilty, hopefully they will get the full sentence.

If you are interested, there is a book and a Discovery show on "Operation Brooks Range" which was one of the bright spots in prosecution back in the early 1990's. Lucinda Schroeder was the under-cover USFWS agent and my brother (Tim Eicher) was the lead agent on the sting operation.
 

sierraone

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Unfortunately, the USA Courts have lost their teeth and will be very soft on these human slime.

Around 93-94, we had a fantastic hunting/gun store in North Little Rock Ar. They had anything to do with hunting including books and clothes. I saw my first Rigby rifle there. A used .416 being consigned by a local dentist for $9000. I bought my son's first hunting rifle there, a Marlin, not a Rigby. The only place I had been at that time that was better, was the DSC convention which I had been attending for several years when it was held at a hotel in the middle of DFW airport. Wellllllll, the point of this story is that I go over there one day and they are out of business. The two brothers that owned and ran the store "Hunters Den", were caught by the FEDS killing a bear out of season in Montana on a hunting trip. I don't know if they did any time or not, but the FEDS took everything they had that was even remotely connected to hunting. These guys had hunted all over the world, so there is no doubt they knew exactly what they were doing.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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This cable sports industry is interesting. Like every business it is made up of all kinds. I don't know this character, but too many are bubba's looking for free opportunities to hunt. Outfitter hosts the personality for 30 mins of advertising and Joe Bob shoots whatever ( I am, by the way, a twelfth generation Southerner - so I know Joe Bob). The show profits cover the costs of getting personality and cameraman to and from the location. Some of the programs have good sponsors and hosts with fairly deep pockets - they can usually be spotted by their HD photography. The others are shoe string operations characterized by low production values. Those productions would seem to be inherently rife with the opportunity to link up with a questionable outfitter.

Red Leg, you are spot on with your comment. The bad apples in any industry are the ones that make it tough on all the rest. An example of a good guy making the best out of a bad situation was presented in Bowhunter magazine about 6 years ago and also on the TV show. Curt Wells went to Alaska and did everything by the book. His guide looks at a moose, 50 yards away, and deems it a legal, 50+ inch rack. Curt puts an arrow thru the critter and guess what? Turns out to be only 49 inch spread. Curt pulls out the satellite phone and reports it. Moose gets confiscated, Curt gets fined about $500 and can't hunt in Alaska for a year or so, but no jail time. In fact, the wildlife officials and judge compliment him for being a stand up guy.

Here's a link to the article: http://www.bowhunter.com/feature_articles/feature_articles_bw_almost_0409/
 

gillettehunter

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This is a LACEY act violation in FEDERAL court. The fines and jail time are liable to be significant. Fed prosecutors don't get involved in nickel and dime crime. The state laws may not do a lot, but the Feds can. Depending on the judge , of course..... Bruce
 

Desert Dog

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Alaska is so large and hard to enforce by the ADF&G, I don't think these guys would have been caught if they didn't put it on television. But if they were violating the law, I hope justice is served.

Running an illegal hunting outfit in Alaska has to be pretty damn profitable too, at $15-20,000 per hunt for grizzly / moose. These guys were probably turning big profits on these hunts and their show was great advertising for the business. Imagine making $20k per week for a hunt without paying any of the necessary fees or licenses.
 

K-man

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Having just returned from the Alaska range, I can assure you that the rangers can and do patrol the areas with much efficiency. We were 90 air miles out of Fairbanks, and the blue helicopter was visible several days. My guide has been in this location for 30 years so he doesn't see much activity, as he said, "they know me and know I'm not worth the visit." I also know the "49 - 51" dilemma on the moose and let several walk because they didn't let me take a tape measure up to them. It's too bad that hunters who may or may not have known what they were getting into may have legal problems. The "outfitter" should have the book thrown at him.
 

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Wow, I guess I need full background check required for each outfitter I hire.
Gillette hunter is right, the U.S. Attorney office does not take small potatoes. And once the Feds have you, it's over. The best these folks can do, is start working on downward departure points.
 

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Wow, I guess I need full background check required for each outfitter I hire..........

At least make them produce a License or Permit.
 

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