Advertisement

Gov. Dunleavy accepted more than $55,000 in hunting-related gifts last year

Mar. 25—Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy received gifts worth more than $55,000 in support of his 2023 hunting activities, according to his recently filed financial disclosure.

The governor has accepted gifts to support his hunts regularly since he was elected governor, but the value of last year's hunts exceeds what he's reported in previous years.

Dunleavy reported receiving a guided spring bear hunt and guided fall moose hunt by Alaska outfitter Sam Fejes at a combined value of between $50,000 and $100,000.

In February of last year, a 10-day bear hunt in May "with special guest Alaska's Governor Mike Dunleavy" was sold in auction for $25,000. The auction was to benefit Safari Club International, a pro-hunting group.

Dunleavy spokesperson Grant Robinson declined to answer questions on the auctioned hunt, including who won the auction and attended the hunt with the governor. Fejes did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking information on the hunts.

Fejes contributed $6,000 to Dunleavy's campaign ahead of the 2022 election.

Dunleavy was at the bear hunt when the Legislature called into a special session in May, after failing to pass a budget during the regular 121-day session.

Dunleavy was also seen at a Texas rodeo in February of last year, around when an unidentified high-altitude object was shot down off Alaska's coast.

Dunleavy spokespeople declined to immediately answer questions about the dates that Dunleavy was out hunting and who accompanied him on his hunting trips, asking instead for the questions to be submitted through a formal records request.

According to this year's report, Dunleavy received gifted hunting trips from two Texas hunters last year — Ronnie Urbanczyk and Billy Robinson, both of whom have given Dunleavy hunting-related gifts in the past three years.

Dunleavy reported that Urbanczyk gave him a shotgun, quail hunt, hat, shells, rodeo ticket and semi automatic pistol valued between $5,000 and $10,000 last year.

Urbanczyk reportedly gave Dunleavy in 2022 a tanned cowhide and a cooler of game meat worth a combined $310. The year before, Urbanczyk gifted Dunleavy a hunt worth between $5,000 and $10,000.

Robinson gave Dunleavy last year two shotguns and a chartered helicopter ride for a "hunting trip amongst friends" worth $639.

Robinson in previous years gave Dunleavy a taxidermied wildebeest head and horns worth at least $1,000; a gun, a chartered helicopter ride, a taxidermied deer head, and a gemsbok head worth at least $3,000; and meat processing of two gemsbok white tail worth at least $2,000.

The two Texas hunters also contributed vast sums to Dunleavy's 2022 election campaign. Robinson reported contributing $26,000 to Dunleavy's campaign. Urbanczyk's wife, Terry, reported contributing $50,000.

Dunleavy, an avid sportsman, has previously suggested establishing a hunt-able population of deer in the Mat-Su. This year, he attempted to move the approval process for the introduction of invasive species from the Board of Game to the governor-appointed commissioner of fish and game. The proposed change was explained in part as meant to ease the process of introducing animals for hunting. That attempt was blocked by the Legislature.

Correction: This article has been updated to show that hunts were in 2023, not this year.