Two members of the Discovery Channel reality TV show, “Alaska: The Last Frontier,” have been charged with using a helicopter to hunt black bear in the filming of an episode of the popular Homer-based show.
Atz Lee Kilcher, 40, and Cristina Jane Kilcher, 40, both face one charge each of unlawful method-helicopter. Under Alaska game laws, using helicopters to hunt is prohibited.
According to charging documents, the incident happened on or about Sept. 19, 2014, in Game Management Unit 15C near Homer. The website for “Alaska: The Last Frontier” has a video involving bear hunting called “Jane Determined to Bag a Bear.” The video shows the Kilchers bear hunting.
Also charged in the case is Wilma TV Inc. of Encino, Calif. The corporation is alleged to have facilitated transportation for the Kilchers to hunt by helicopter as part of an episode of the show.
The incident came to light after someone with the production company for the show told troopers that a helicopter had been used in a black bear hunt, said Megan Peters, a trooper spokesperson. Troopers contacted the helicopter company involved and checked their records. She said the company had not been told a hunting trip was involved. The helicopter company has not been charged in the incident.
Peters said no one with the show contacted troopers about the legality of using helicopters for hunting.
“I can tell you this outfit did not check with us on anything like that to make sure anything was legal or otherwise, and they misled a helicopter company on that aspect of it,” Peters said.
Phone messages were left with the Discovery Channel press office seeking comment, but at press time no one had returned calls.
Michael Armstrong can be reached at email@example.com.