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Big Game Guide Charged With Hunting Brown Bear in a Suspended Area

A map of the State of Alaska's Guide Use Areas with a focus on the land surrounding Nome. From www.commerce.alaska.gov

Krist Zwerneman, owner and operator of Council Alaska Safaris, is facing multiple charges for allegedly guiding brown bear hunts in suspended areas. The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by Alaska Wildlife Troopers’ Bethel office.

The hunts occurred in GUA 22-04 and 22-05 near Nome. According to the Alaska Department of Public Safety, Zwerneman’s GUA authorization for the areas expired in 2023. The offenses occurred on April 26, April 30, and May 1. 

Facing three charges of violating AS08.54.720(a)(5)(B), Zwerneman could potentially receive fines totaling up to $30,000 and up to three years of imprisonment. However, the exact penalties would depend on the court’s discretion.

The 56 year old big game guide from Choteau, Montana is scheduled to be arraigned at the Nome Courthouse May 31 at 10:30 a.m. 

Zwerneman has previously been charged in Nome for transfer of game animals or their parts. The case was closed in 2020 with Zwerneman paying a $50 fine.

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