What's New In Alaska, Mexico, China, More.


Published: March - 2007

The annual SCI Convention in Reno is hands down the best place to meet with operators from around the world and get the latest news on hunting developments. Let's start with what I learned is going on in Alaska. Several members of the Alaska Professional Hunters Association (APHA) tell me the association and the Big Game Commercial Services Board have made huge progress in cleaning up the guiding and transporter industry there. APHA member Tim Booch of Aleutian Islands Guide Service may have put it best when he told me, The buffalo shoot is over. He was referring of course to the proliferation of unskilled, unethical and illegal guides and transporters who have plagued this important hunting state of late. You'll remember our past reports about trigger-happy and ill-trained guides, culminating in the death of a bear hunting client just a few years ago when an assistant guide shot him in the back of the head while following up his shot.

APHA Executive Director Robert Fithian of Alaskan Mountain Safaris told me our criticism of Alaskan guides as a whole was too harsh and unfair, as his organization was at that same time working hard to implement changes, including perhaps the most important development in Alaska in years, namely the creation of the Big Game Commercial Services Board, which now regulates the industry. The Board has already improved licensing requirements and administered disciplinary action against dozens of professionals who have violated licensing and other laws.

A crackdown began with tougher requirements to become a guide-outfitter in Alaska. The barrier to entry was simply too low, APHA Director Jim Hamilton of True North Adventures told me. Other hunting destinations, such as Africa, had better requirements. APHA recognized this and pushed for tougher licensing.

The next approach was enforcement. The hiring of a full-time investigator from the Occupational Licensing Board of Alaska has given the Big Game Commercial Services Board teeth to enforce regulations. More than 30 cases have already been investigated by the Board, mostly for incompetence. A number of operators........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Aleutian Island Guide Service; True North Adventures; Arnhemland Hunting Safaris; Territory Buffalo Safaris; Mary River Safaris; Mongolian Travel USA, Inc; Alaskan Mountain Safaris; Mongolei Reisen;

  


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