Skip to comments.Pilot cited for flying too close to elk herd
Posted on 11/09/2012 2:07:39 PM PST by GSWarrior
An Arizona medical pilot has been cited for harassing wildlife for flying a helicopter just above an elk herd after dropping off a patient at a hospital in Grand Junction.
Owen Park, 35, of Page, was assessed 10 penalty points against his hunting and fishing privileges and fined $200, which he has paid, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release issued Thursday.
The agency said the incident happened Sept. 23 in a canyon near the headwaters of Granite Creek, southwest of Grand Junction. It said Park, a pilot for Classic Lifeguard Air Medical in Page, was returning there with a medical crew when hunters saw him make several passes below the rim of the canyon and at treetop level, scattering elk.
The people that saw this told me that the pilot ruined their hunt, Ty Smith, district wildlife officer in Grand Junction, said in the release. When I mentioned this to Park, he agreed that his actions may have done that.
Witnesses also said the helicopter appeared to be herding elk.
The witnesses saw the helicopters tail number, letting Smith trace it to the air medical services owner, M & J Leisure L.C. of Ogden, Utah. The company quickly put him in touch with Park, who said he didnt feel hed harassed the elk, but was trying to get a better look at them, the news release said.
We understand that observing wildlife from aircraft can provide great views, but it is very harmful to wildlife and can lead to a citation, or in some cases, the confiscation of the aircraft, Smith said.
Parks and Wildlife regularly receives reports of low-lying aircraft appearing to harass wildlife, and in some cases airborne spotters illegally helping hunters find game.
No patients were on board the helicopter Park was flying when the harassment occurred, the agency said. No one on the helicopter besides Park was cited.
The answer is to fire him and sell the copter and tell patients to walk.
Alternatively, stick with the hunters and tell the joy-riding bastard to shove it.
If the witness reports are true, then it looks as if he WAS deliberately flying close to the elk—possibly to scare them away from the hunters.
For once, maybe the officials are right.
Reading the headline, I thought this was going to be a story about scaring elk that were grazing on the hospital lawn.
And so he bothered the king’s elk, the tragedy. Why is the peace of a group of elk worth more than the life of the patient he was airlifting down to the hospital, and even more bizarrely why did it have anything to do with his hunting???
OK, it looks like he was a bit of an ass. Those choppers aren’t silent and he didn’t need to do that on the way back (there was no patient in tow at that point).
I was hunting elk once when a chopper spotted them and flipped a bitch, scaring the herd. Immediately thought it was my brother’s fault. Sure as hell, he was taking a tourist flight in the local annual hoop-de-doo and spotted the herd.
I wish they’d start busting all the a-holes helicopter pilots in the Phoenix area that constantly violate the 500ft minimum ove the city.
If I could read their tail numbers, I rat them out. But the tail numbers on helicopter are usually so small that you’d need a 60x spotting scope to read them.
It sounds like he was being rude and obnoxious. Perhaps someone with an agenda against hunting?
Ok, let me understand this, its ok to hunt and kill elk, BUT to scare them from a helicopter is wrong and you can be fined!!! Weird.....
No patients were on board the helicopter Park was flying when the harassment occurred, the agency said.
He didnt have a patient at the time.
Yep, that dawned on you too huh. LMAO I hear ya...
I just feel so blessed we have a government agency in every nook and cranny of this nation, so that nothing this vile can every take place without immediate intervention.
Oh, and those SUVs that only got 12 miles to the gallon, I sure hope they run those over a cliff.
It sure is terrible they don’t have enough government employees that hunters have to take the time out of their day to report stuff like this.