Some temptations are hard to resist, but a hunter from Homer may be wishing he tried harder when he saw the wrong species enter the cross-hairs of his rifle scope on May 9.
"Basically, it was a young kid who made a bad decision," said Travis Bordner, an Alaska State Trooper stationed in Anchor Point.
Bordner received the call and investigated the incident that resulted in Ashton Callahan, 19, being charged with taking game during a closed season and failure to salvage game meat, after Callahan illegally shot a mountain goat.
"Others hunters in the area called it in," Bordner said, referring to Sadie Cove, a remote area south of the Homer Spit, across Kachemak Bay.
The locale is popular with spring black bear hunters, which is the species Callahan set out to pursue, but rather than an all-black bruin, he found himself within striking distance of an all-white ungulate.
"They went bear hunting. He got up the mountain and goats were close by, which doesn't happen often," Border said.
Typically, mountain goats frequent vertical cliff faces at high altitudes, where these sure-footed animals can graze without fear of being eaten by predators. As such, seeing one close enough to make a clean shot is rare, but that still doesn't make it legal in May. The mountain goat hunting season isn't until fall and is by permit only.
"It took a little bit of investigation to find their boat, and initially he denied it, but he called back and confessed within an hour," Bordner said.
On June 2, in Homer District Court, Callahan plead no contest to the charges of taking a mountain goat during a closed season, and for failure to salvage game meat.
"He was fined a total of $6,000 with $4,000 suspended, and ordered to pay restitution for the goat in the amount of $800," Bordner said.
In addition, Callahan was required to forfeit his rifle and had his hunting license revoked for two years. He was also placed on two years probation, Bordner said.
Joseph Robertia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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