Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 6:11 PM on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wildlife Trooper may have trapped trapper

Staff report

An Alaska Wildlife Trooper turned the tables on a trapper when he set his own trap to catch whoever took a lynx out of season. After finding a dead lynx he found trapped near Ninilchik in December before the Jan. 1 start of the season, Wildlife Trooper David Chaffin cut off part of the lynx's right ear. When a trapper, Allen J. Hoffman, 68, brought in three lynx furs to be sealed at the Homer office of the Department of Fish and Game, one lynx fur missed part of its right ear, Chaffin wrote in a criminal complaint. Chaffin alleged that fur matched the cut-off part of the ear he had seized earlier as evidence. Hoffman was charged with taking or trapping a lynx during a closed season, unlawful possession or transportation of game, unsworn falsification.

According to Chaffin's complaint, on Dec. 10, 2011, while on patrol near Mile 3 Brody Road in Ninilchik, he found a dead lynx caught in a snare set in a tree. This year's lynx trapping season was Jan. 1 to Feb. 15. Chaffin photographed the lynx and cut off part of the ear. After Hoffman and another trapper brought the three lynx fur in to be sealed, Wildlife Trooper Trent Chwialkowski interviewed Hoffman and the other trapper. Hoffman allegedly denied taking the lynx out of season and the other trapper said he had been with Hoffman when the three lynx were taken and all three had been taken in season, Chaffin alleged.