Hunting Show Host Sentenced for Lacey Act Violations

Hunting show host Clark Dixon was sentenced in federal court this week. Image-Facebook/Syndicate Hunting LLC

Hunting show host Clark Dixon was sentenced in federal court this week. Image-Facebook/Syndicate Hunting LLC

It was announced on Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department that the cable tv hunting show host, 41-year-old Clark Dixon was sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline in Federal Court to 16 months in federal prison for a multi-year poaching operation in Noatak.

According to court documents, the syndicate tv show host from Hazelhurst, Mississippi admitted to large-scale violations of federal and state hunting laws that included hunting and taking game the same day airborne, hunting big game as a non-resident without the aid of a guide, and hunting as a non-resident without the proper tags and permits, as well as the illegal transportation and outfitting of non-resident hunters in the illegal pursuit of game between the years of 2008 and 2013 on the Noatak Preserve.

As part of the plea agreement and sentence, Judge Beistline ordered that Clark Dixon pay a fine
of $75,000, and forfeit 17 animals killed and turned into trophies while falsely claiming to be a resident
of the state of Alaska. These included a grizzly bear, Dall sheep, moose and caribou, along with bows
and several rifles used in the illegal take of game.

Dixon also admitted to assisting Clarence Michael Osborne illegally take a Grizzly Bear without the proper permits and without the required guide on the same day that they were airborne. He also admitted to falsifying hunting records to state that his father, Charles Dixon had taken the bear. 

All of Dixon’s hunts in Alaska were nullified because he had claimed Alaska residency in order to take advantage of resident hunting privileges while he was actually a resident of Mississippi, thus, he was ordered to give up the firearms used, as well as the 17 trophies that he had taken in Alaska.

Clark Dixon’s father, 70-year-old Charles Dixon, also pled guilty to two counts of Violating the Lacy Act in November. He admitted to claiming Osborne’s kill as his own as well as transporting the hunting party into the preserve and hunting the same day. The aircraft used in the illegal take, that was owned by the elder Dixon, a STOL Quest SQ-4, valued at $200,000, was forfeited to the federal government as part of the plea agreement. Charles Dixon was also ordered to pay an additional $15,000 fine and pay $10,000 in restitution to the Noatak Preserve for removal of the illegal camp.

53-year-old Clarence Michael Osborne, of Madison, Mississippi, in a plea agreement in November pled guilty to the Lacey Act as well, for taking a bear without the proper permits and guide and killing the bear on the same day airborne. He also pled guilty to killing a Bull Moose without the required permit on the preserve. As a result of his plea, Osborne was given five years probation, fined $65,000, and ordered to pay $19,500 restitution to the preserve for the taking of the moose. He was also ordered to forfeit the Grizzly Bear mount, the Bull Moose mount, and three Caribou mounts as well as the .375 H&H rifle he used to take the animals. He is barred from hunting anywhere in the world during the time he is on probation.

There were numerous other cases that had connections to this current case against Dixon:

  • Fulton Wold, age 41-Nashville-Guilty Plea-Taking Caribou without permits and non-resident tags(2009)Sentence-Two years probation, fine-$7,500 and $1,000 in restitution. Forfeiture of Moose and Caribou mounts.
  • Terry Goza, age 71-Hazlehurt, Mississippi-Guilty plea-Taking Dall Sheep same day airborne.Sentence-Probation, $5,000 fine. (Footage of hunt was aired on the hunting show “The Syndicate”)
  • Randolph Goza,48-Wasilla-Guilty plea-Assisting in same day take of Dall Sheep. Sentence-5 years probation and world-wide hunting prohibition, $25,000 fine and $120,000 restitution.
  • Dale Hooks, 54-Mendenhall, Mississippi-Guilty plea-Unlawful take of wildlife(2015) Sentence-3 years probation and world-wide hunting prohibition, $5,000 fine and $10,000 restitution.
  • Lance David Walker, 37-Baton Rouge, Louisiana-Guilty plea-Unlawful take of wildlife(2015) Sentence-4 years probation and world-wide hunting prohibition, $5,000 fine and $10,000 restitution.
  • Robert Viner, 49- Ridgeland, Mississippi, was cited by investigators for the illegal
    transport of an unlawfully taken brown bear. Viner has admitted guilt in connection with the
    charges, and has paid a $3,250 fine.

The National Park Service also cited The Outdoor Syndicate, LLC, in Reno, Nevada, its owner Michael
P. Dianda, and a production company, Zap Lab, Ltd, in Reno, Nevada, for commercial filming on the
Preserve without a permit. Clark Dixon and another professional videographer acquired footage of hunts
which were aired on The Syndicate.

Judge Beistlne told Clark Dixon at sentencing, “You were leading some of these people you hunted with in the wrong direction.” The Judge continued, saying, “You were a skilled hunter, who knew the rules and regulations and you violated the law on television; you’ve been hunting illegally for eight years and claimed to be an Alaska resident when you weren’t.”