Alaska TV Show Cast, Production Firm Face Charges Over Hunt
Two cast members and the production company of the Discovery Channel reality show "Alaska: The Last Frontier" have been charged with using a helicopter for a black bear hunt.
A former production company employee tipped troopers off about the illegal hunt, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters told the Alaska Dispatch News ( http://bit.ly/1KQHXmF ) on Tuesday.
"When the footage came on, we saw it," Peters said. "We were able to investigate it after the fact."
The helicopter flight and bear hunt were filmed for the show near Homer in mid-September 2014, according to charging documents. Atz Lee Kilcher, 38; his wife, Cristina Jane Kilcher, 40; and an arm of Discovery Studios called Wilma TV Inc. were each charged on July 13 with a misdemeanor hunting violation.
Under Alaska law, it is illegal to use a helicopter to hunt for game. That includes transporting hunters, hunting gear or unprocessed game to or from the field.
Charging documents say that the Kilchers were transported by helicopter and then participated in a bear hunt.
"Alaska: The Last Frontier" began in 2011 and follows the Kilcher family as they live off the land in an isolated community outside Homer. The cast includes Atz Kilcher, father to Atz Lee and singer-songwriter Jewel.
Sean Martin, director of communications for the Discovery Channel, wouldn't say whether the hunt cited in the charges was shown on television. He declined to comment on the charges.
The Alaska Dispatch News was unable to reach Atz Lee and Christina Jane Kilcher on Monday or Tuesday. They were also unable to reach Wilma TV.
Atz Lee Kilcher and Christina Jane Kilcher are scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 11. There is no date posted for Wilma TV.