Local News

Groundskeeper charged with attempting to poison brown bears

Wildlife troopers say they’ve charged the Sea Mountain Golf Course groundskeeper for attempting to poison brown bears. The poison could be what killed two dogs that died after visiting the area.

One month ago, the bears tore holes in the golf course. At the request of golf course groundskeeper, Kevin Taranoff, the Department of Fish and Game set a bear trap.

But, troopers say Taranoff ended up taking matters into his own hands. Jake Abbott is an Alaska Wildlife Trooper in Sitka.

“At that time the grounds keeper had made some comments along the lines of if you don’t deal with the bear I will. So upon hearing that I became suspicious that this person had mostly likely attempted to poison the bears as a way of dealing with the bear problem.”

Abbott says, the poison used to target the bears is thought to be the same anti-freeze mix that killed two dogs earlier this month. Both dogs had roamed the Sea Mountain Golf Course the night they died.
Abbott says Taranoff told several Sea Mountain employees about his attempt to poison the bears. After the dog deaths and conversations with employees Abbott filed charges.

“Because of that I found that I had sufficient probable cause to charge him with one count of unlawful method and means – attempting to take big game by use of a poison.”

Abbott issued Taranoff the citation Wednesday night.

“He subsequently admitted that he was the person who had tried to poison the brown bears.”

Taranoff is facing a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine, or one year in jail, or both. He will be required to appear in court. The golf course managers couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.

Recent News

Transportation planners look to road-and-ferry solution in SE

The M/V Columbia, recently re-powered, is not one of the three ships which could possibly be retired soon. (Flickr/Gillfoto)
State planners still see a road across Baranof Island as an important part of transportation infrastructure -- though it may take decades to become reality. The Department of Transportation held an open house and informational meeting in Sitka this week (8-20-14) on the latest draft of the Southeast Alaska Transportation Plan. And while maintaining and refurbishing the ferry system is high on the list of priorities for the region, major road construction -- both in Juneau and in Sitka -- remains on the books. more

Dry weather to bring relief for HPR drivers?

Contractors roll out the CABC, or "Crushed Asphalt Base Course," in preparation for paving HPR outbound from SeaMart. The DOT says the road will be finished -- or have a temporary surface -- by the end of the paving season mid-September. (KCAW photo/Robert Woolsey)
Sitka drivers frustrated by poor road conditions on Halibut Point Road during this summer’s paving project can take heart: It’s going to get better. Al Clough, the Southeast Regional director for the Department of Transportation says that while heavy rains have been a setback, the road will be done -- or a driveable temporary surface in place -- by the end of the paving season a month from now. more