Game Warden Wins "Shell Game" with Poacher
On November 1, 2000, a four-point mule deer buck was taken in deer area 124 west of Greybull by Mark M????. Or was it?
On a tip, Thermopolis game warden Tim Fuchs began an investigation that revealed the hunter to really be Michael T. M????, alias Mark M????, Mike M????, Mike T. M????? and Mike M?????.
The man, a Jackson convenience store employee, used driver's licenses from Ohio and Wyoming, with two different dates of birth to obtain mailing addresses at seven locations, most of which were vacant lots in Cody and Jackson.
In January 2002, the jury let the poacher, who represented himself in the trial, know they were not impressed with his shell game. After deliberating for less than one hour, the 41-year-old man was found guilty of hunting a deer without a proper license, possessing a license and hunting while under suspension, and falsifying a statement on a Wyoming Interstate Game Tag.
In February 2002, Judge Robert Skar sentenced the man to 120 days in jail with 90 days suspended, 18 months supervised probation (upon release from jail), revocation of all hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges for 12 years, restitution in the amount of $2,500, and fines totaling $1,290.
Judge Skar stipulated that the man couldn't possess any firearms, take any wildlife or accompany anyone who is. He cannot receive or possess any newly acquired animal part while on probation and he shall not possess, obtain, or attempt to obtain any licenses or preference points for 12 years. The judge further ordered that he couldn't be employed in any manner related to wildlife and land leasing for hunting purposes unless his probation officer approves it.
Fuchs cited the assistance of G&F wildlife investigators Fred Herbel and Lin Bashford in building the case.
This was not the man's first brush with wildlife law enforcement. In 1998, he had been cited in Niobrara County for taking an overlimit of deer, failing to retain evidence of sex on a deer, and allowing edible portions of a deer to go to waste. Upon this conviction, his hunting privileges were revoked for both the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
Information on any illegal hunting, fishing or trapping violation may be reported 24 hours a day on the STOP Poaching hotline (800) 442-4331. Callers may remain completely anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward if the information results in a conviction.
Copyright © 2002 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.