Tuluksak, Alaska (KINY) - On Jan. 13, Alaska Wildlife Troopers (AWT) in Bethel received a report of an illegally taken caribou while following up on an unrelated case in Tuluksak.
Further investigation revealed 37-year-old Tuluksak resident Peter Waska, 42-year-old Tuluksak resident Nelson Napoka, 36-year-old Akiak resident Timothy Lott, and 47-year-old Akiak resident Carl Napoka, all took caribou in GMU 18 at the beginning of Dec. 2022.
Additionally, it was discovered that 26-year-old Peter Joe Napoka and 62-year-old Jerry Charlie, both of Tuluksak, each took a caribou, with Peter Joe using a .22 rimfire rifle.
The caribou season in GMU 18 has been closed for approximately 3 years due to the drastically low Mulchatna Caribou Herd population.
Timothy Lott, Nelson Napoka, Peter Waska, Jerry Charlie, and Carl Napoka were each issued misdemeanor citations for Taking Caribou Closed Season and Unlawful Possession/Transportation of Game.
Peter Joe Napoka was issued misdemeanor citations for Taking Caribou Closed Season, Unlawful Possession/Transportation of Game, and Unlawful Methods/Means for using a rimfire rifle.
AWT Bethel seized the remaining caribou meat and rifles used to take the illegal animals as evidence, and arraignment was set for Feb. 1 in the Bethel Court.
On Feb. 1, Waska, Nelson Napoka, Lott, Peter Joe Napoka, Charlie, and Carl Napoka all pled guilty to Taking a Caribou During a Closed Season in GMU 18. The sentencing for each defendant was a $5,000 fine, $850 restitution, forfeiture of caribou meat, and forfeiture of the rifle used to commit the crimes.
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