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EL DORADO NEWS-TIMES

Saturday, July 12, 2008

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The Colorado Division of Wildlife has wrapped up a poaching case against six south Arkansas men with the final two suspects entering guilty pleas in Moffat County District Court.

Five men from Hampton and one from Bearden are involved in the case.

In late 2005, Colorado wildlife officer Mike Bauman began hearing stories about a group of hunters who were poaching in the Bible Back Mountain area south of the Colorado-Wyoming border.

During the 2006 hunting seasons, Bauman was able to determine that a group of men were, at a minimum, buying leftover licenses for Game Management Units 4 and 12 but most likely hunting in Game Management Unit 5, a news release said.

In 2007, wildlife officers set up a hunting camp in the area and posed as hunters to gather evidence against the group. Officers were able to document that hunters killed two deer without proper licenses, trespassed on private land, wounded a deer without following up on shots as required by law, and killed illegally and willfully destroyed one buck.

“It was blatant poaching. At one point, individuals in the Arkansas camp were seen shooting and killing a deer then tying the head to a tree so they could later return and claim the antlers,” Bauman said. “The incident occurred on private land the men had no permission to enter and in a unit for which they didn’t have a license.”

It was determined that the hunters were staying across theWyoming border and Colorado officers contacted investigators with Wyoming Game and Fish to request assistance with monitoring the group at and around their Wyoming motel.

As the hunters were packing up and preparing to leave for home, Colorado wildlife officers caught up with part of the group to interview them and charge the suspects. Additional members of the group were detained by Wyoming officers who also collected evidence from the hotel and from a Wyoming meat processor.

Based on interviews with the group, wildlife officers determined that, in addition to the 2007 violations, at least three deer were illegally killed in 2006. Assistance was requested from wildlife officers in south Arkansas who collected evidence from the men’s homes.

“We appreciate the cooperation we received in this case from Wyoming Game and Fish and Arkansas Game and Fish,” Bauman said. “While we had some of the charges locally, the evidence that was obtained from previous years and from the hotel made it possible to show an ongoing pattern of poaching violations.”

Based on the investigation the following men were charged and entered pleas:

William Newton, 25, of Hampton pleaded guilty to: one count of illegal taking of three or more big-game animals; two counts of waste of edible game wildlife; one count of illegal possession of a deer; and four counts of hunting without a license. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, given a $9,500 fine plus court costs andhad to forfeit a rifle and illegally taken wildlife.

Bradley Shankles, 25, of Hampton pleaded guilty to: one count of felony willful destruction of wildlife; two counts of hunting without a license; two counts of illegal possession of a deer; one count of waste of edible game wildlife; and one count of defacing a firearm. He received a deferred sentence on felony willful destruction charge, was fined $5,000, received a four-year ban from hunting in the United States, four years of supervised probation, $2,000 donation to Operation Game Thief and had to forfeit of a rifle and illegally taken wildlife.

Richard W. Carson, 44, of Hampton pleaded guilty by payment of citation to one count of failure to pursue wounded wildlife; one count of hunting deer without a license; one count of illegal possession of a deer; and one count of unlawful trespass on private property. He received a warning for hunting without orange clothing. Carson chose not to contest the charges and instead pleaded guilty by paying $2,041 in fines. He was assessed 65 points against his hunting privileges.

Michael B. Welch, 24, of Bearden pleaded guilty by payment of citation to one count of hunting deer without a license and one count of illegal possession of a deer. He received a warning for failure to tag. Welch chose not to contest the charges and instead pleaded guilty by paying $1,781 in fines. He was assessed 30 points against his hunting privileges.

Anthony Moser, 21, of Hampton pleaded guilty by payment of citation to one count of huntingdeer without a license and one count of illegal possession of a deer. Moser chose not to contest the charges and instead pleaded guilty by paying $1,781 in fines. He was assessed 30 points against his hunting privileges.

Harlan C. Welch, 32, of Hampton pleaded guilty by payment of citation to one count of having an uncased rifle on an all-terrain vehicle. He received a warning for unlawful trespass on private property. He chose not to contest the charges and instead pleaded guilty by paying a $68 fine. He was assessed five points against his hunting privileges.

Five of the six men still face an administrative hearing by the Colorado Wildlife Commission. Anyone assessed more than 20 points against hunting and fishing privileges is subject to wildlife hunting suspension hearings.

The men could lose their hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 27 other states that are members of the Wildlife Violator Compact. Hearing dates have not yet been set for the men.

“Colorado has the largest migratory mule deer and elk herds in the nation,” said Ron Velarde, northwest regional manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

“Because of that spectacular resource we attract hunters from around the world. We welcome those who come here to experience what our great state offers, but we absolutely will do everything possible to catch those who believe that our remote areas provide enough cover to cheat and steal from Colorado’s citizens and true sportsmen.”
 

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A few of those last names sound very familiar.......it must run in families!

Imagine what they did in south Arkansas or Arkansas as a whole??

Now whats gonna stop them from continuing here?

In rural South Arkansas with limited resources they can just continue their ways with only a slight chance of getting caught.........pretty sad!!
 

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Nope, but I think it would be great if all 50 states were. Here's the current list:

There are currently 28 states in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansan, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
 

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Nope, but I think it would be great if all 50 states were. Here's the current list:
Well Arkansas isn't on that list!!

Maybe some folks should push to get us on there instead of worrying about ATV gun boots!!!!!!

And bett_lou they probably hunt on everyone in the area or whichever area they are at!!!!!!!
So they are a nuisance to us all!!!!!!!:bash:
 

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felony willful destruction of wildlife
Wonder what that is? Shooting a deer and just leaving it?

They dont play around out west when it comes to game laws/violations.

Id like to see Arkansas join that list also.

Maybe the ADHA could look into that.
 

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This has been discussed before with the commissioners I believe.

Arkansas can not be apart of this pact due to our point system. Arkansas is the only state I know of that a hunter could lose his hunting priviledges for failure not have enough hunter orange on. The violation counts as 6 points towards your license and could double if on a WMA, and add another 6 points if hunting with someone under 16. That is a total of 18 points which causes you to lose your privelege for on year.
Because someone could lose there hunting privelges here in Arkansas for very minor offenses is why we can not be apart of this pact. Those other states in the pact only take away hunting privelges for serious violations.

In the story above these individuals came off pretty easy, especially when it involved the Lacy Act.
 

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[And bett_lou they probably hunt on everyone in the area or whichever area they are at!!!!!!!
So they are a nuisance to us all!!!!!!!:bash:[/QUOTE]

Your right. They have no respect for laws, rules or regulations.
 

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A few of those last names sound very familiar.......it must run in families!

Imagine what they did in south Arkansas or Arkansas as a whole??

Now whats gonna stop them from continuing here?

In rural South Arkansas with limited resources they can just continue their ways with only a slight chance of getting caught.........pretty sad!!
this type of thing probably happens more than most people realize in arkansas.
 

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One thing that caught my attention:

pleaded guilty by payment of citation to one count of having an uncased rifle on an all-terrain vehicle

You have to have your rifle in a case while on an ATV???? And we griped at the short-lived rule here in Arkansas that guns transported in vehicles had to be in a case...
 

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Wouldn't bother me none if they put every :censored: one of them in the pen for about 5 years,,like some of these old boys from my neck of the woods need to be..You'd think that maybe as one matures a bit that over time one's brain might conger up some ethics & respect for God's gift of wildlife for us ALL ( not to mention everything else in Life )...I reckin not,,not in this day & RAGE..... :mad:
 
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