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Michigan Hunters Fined In Illegal Alaska Bear Kill

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Grizzly bear (istock)

Grizzly bear (istock)

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – A Michigan woman and her son have been sentenced to pay thousands of dollars in the 2009 illegal killing of a grizzly bear in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Charlotte Peyerk of Shelby Township, Mich., and Mark Peyerk of Mio, Mich., were fined $20,000 each Monday in federal court in Fairbanks, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Mark Peyerk, 40, was ordered to pay another $10,000 in community service payments to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. His 66-year-old mother was ordered to pay another $5,000 to the foundation.

The Peyerks pleaded guilty in September to charges of taking a bear out of season, conspiracy to violate federal wildlife laws and making a false record of wildlife shipped interstate. Their attorneys did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the Peyerks admitted they and their assistant guides agreed they should take the bear the day before the season opened. The Peyerks’ cameras had the date indicators altered so it would appear the grizzly was killed on opening day, said assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Cooper.

For the bear kill, Charlotte Peyerk won a Diana Award for ethics in hunting from the Safari Club International, according to prosecutors.

Charlotte Peyerk was ordered to offer to return the award. Both Peyerks also were ordered to write letters of apology to the Safari Club as part of the sentence imposed by Magistrate Judge Scott Oravec.

The Peyerks also falsified the killing date on a state harvest tag, as well as a Safari Club trophy entry form, according to Cooper.
Also as part of their sentence, Mark Peyerk is prohibited from hunting during his five-year probation, while Charlotte Peyerk is banned from hunting during her four-year probation.

The Peyerks are among several out-of-state hunters convicted in a larger investigation that led to the conviction of Anchorage master guide Joe Hendricks of Fair Chase Hunts. Last year, Hendricks was ordered to pay $125,000 fine for illegal guiding activities in ANWR.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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