SOLDOTNA, Alaska, Oct. 9 (UPI) — An Alaska man has pleaded innocent to a federal charge he baited bears without a permit while working on an episode of the TV series “MonsterQuest.”
Jim Oltersdorf of Soldotna was charged with illegally setting up a baiting station in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in order to photograph bears for a September 2008 episode of the History Channel series, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported Friday. It wasn’t clear when the footage was shot.
Attorney Brent Cole, who represents Oltersdorf, questioned why his client was even facing the federal charge, which could result in as much as six months in jail for Oltersdorf if he is convicted, though he could have just paid a $175 fine.
“Certainly somebody wouldn’t do something illegal and then put it on TV if they thought what they were doing was illegal,” Cole said.
Cole denies Fish and Wildlife officials’ allegations that his client was operating a bait station. Oltersdorf’s trial is to begin Nov. 4.
“This is quite an interesting interpretation of the law,” Cole told the Daily News. “This is not a bear-baiting station. It may be a public nuisance, it may be something else, but it’s certainly not a bear-baiting station, as anybody in Alaska would know.”
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