A tip about a deer poaching spree in the Cody area, has resulted in charges being filed March 21 against a Cody man for 12 wildlife violations involving killing buck deer out of season and another Cody man for one count of taking an antlered deer out of season.
The first, a 37-year-old, is charged with four counts of violating Wyoming's "winter range statute" of knowingly taking an antlered deer out of season, four counts of wanton destruction for leaving the four deer to waste, two counts of taking deer in a closed season and two counts of taking deer without a license.
The second man, 34, is charged with one count of the "winter range statute" for taking a white-tailed deer between December 1 and 20, along the South Fork of the Shoshone River southwest of Cody.
The Park County Attorney's Office is considering charges against others connected with the poaching activity. The charges allege the first to have illegally killed six buck deer, one white-tailed and five mule deer, between early October 2000 and January 10, 2001. All the deer had four-point antlers, with several ranking as trophy class racks, report the Game and Fish Department officers who are investigating the case. The summons claim he killed one deer in the Beartooth Mountains, three along the Lower Greybull River and two along the South Fork of the Shoshone River. Four of the deer he allegedly poached are suspected to have been killed at night with the aid of artificial light.
On January 12, game wardens Tim Fagan and Craig Sax interviewed the above game law violator at the Cody Law Enforcement Center. The suspect was in custody for allegedly violating the probation terms of a sentence for driving while under the influence of alcohol. Information gathered in the interview prompted the officers and G&F Investigator Lin Bashford to obtain and serve a search warrant January 12 on his rented storage shed. They found five sets of deer antlers, a rifle, a spotlight and other evidence possibly connected with the poaching activity.
Fagan interviewed the second offender on January 13. From information received from him and others, officers recovered the carcass of a whitetail killed on the South Fork of the Shoshone River. He also surrendered a rifle suspected to have been used in the crime.
Fagan said although game wardens had discovered several deer carcasses in the area during November and December, the tip accelerated the pace and narrowed the scope of the investigation. Both men were scheduled to make their initial court appearance in April in Park County Circuit Court in Cody.
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