ANCHORAGE — Authorities are making progress in their investigation into a bear hunt that led to the resignation of a top state Department Fish and Game official, including charges that a member of his hunting party may have shot a cub.
Corey Rossi, who was the head of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, faces 12 criminal charges in connection with the 2008 hunt, including allegations he falsified records. Authorities say Rossi was an assistant guide for a party that included three out-of-state hunters.
According to the Anchorage Daily News on Thursday, authorities do not expect to file any more charges against Rossi but say they are investigating the actions of others connected to the hunt.
Messages left for Rossi by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Alaska State Troopers say the hunting party killed five black bears — but that's not what hunt records show.
The documentation claimed that two hunters failed to kill a bear, contradicting bear sealing records completed by Rossi and statements to troopers by the hunters, according to the charges.
Soldotna big-game guide Joe Dilley's signature appears on the falsified hunt records, according to prosecutors. But Dilley, a hunting guide since the early 1990s, said he does not know Rossi.
Troopers are trying to learn who signed the hunt records, said Capt. Burke Waldron, operations commander for the Alaska Wildlife Troopers.
There were other problems with the paperwork, authorities say. Some of the dates were wrong, indicating the records had been signed before the hunt had ended, charges say.
And, in at least one instance, Dilley's name was spelled wrong.
Hunt paperwork, according to the newspaper, states Dilley outfitted three members of the party for an unguided trip: Robert Bruce Hubbard, a Utah guide; Duane Stroupe, a farmer and large-scale composter from Oregon; and David Reis, a Colorado trucker.
Rossi said Hubbard killed two bears and Stroupe killed one, the charges say.
Reis also killed a bear, which Reis sealed himself, saying he'd killed it with bait on a guided hunt, according to the charges.
Rossi told troopers that Hubbard killed two bears on the trip despite purchasing just one bear tag, the charges say.
Rossi acknowledged that the second bear would surpass legal limits and that he would have known that Hubbard did not have a second black bear tag prior to sealing the bears, according to the charges.
Hubbard claimed he only took one bear when he was questioned during the Dec. 12 interviews, troopers say.
Troopers are also investigating the size or age of one of the bears killed by Rossi's hunting party, Waldron said. One of the bears was particularly small and may have been a cub, he said.