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AK: Katmai guides charged with hunting violations

December 14, 2013

From AlaskaDispatch.com

An experienced Alaska big game guide has been charged with hunting violations for allowing clients to take brown bears in Game Management Unit 9, which consists of the Alaska Peninsula and its adjacent islands, without the required registration permits.

Alaska State Troopers say an investigation opened just last month found five Branham Adventures clients hunted without permits; three of them took brown bears in GMU9. Chris Branham, who along with family operates Royal Wolf Lodge in Southwest, has been charged with a single count of licensed guide aiding or committing a violation, a misdemeanor.

According to the lodgeís website, the Branhamís family history goes as far back as the late 1930s, when Chrisís parents built some of the first lodges in the state. That pioneering spirit was passed down to Chris Branham, the website says, and he now carves a life out of the wilderness of privately-owned land in Katmai National Park and Preserve.

Despite his experience, Branham faced a previous Fish and Game charge for which he pleaded no contest in 2007. Two assistant guides have also been charged as a result of the newest trooper sting -- Todd Kuster and Daniel Suprak face the same charge as the lodge owner.

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