Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brothers Busted In Biggest Trophy Deer Poaching Case in Kansas

© By Othmar Vohringer

Marlin and James Butler, two Texas brothers, where sentenced to a total of 5 years in prison and fined 70,000 dollars after pleading guilty to poaching a total of 160 trophy whitetail deer bucks. The U.S. Wildlife officials say that this is the largest trophy deer poaching case in Kansas, if not in U.S., history. The prosecutors argued that the two brothers guided up to 60 clients to illegally kill about 160 deer. The brothers participated in jacklighting deer, shooting deer in the wrong management unit, trespassing and guiding hunters without hunting licenses.

The deer were transported over state lines, which means the brothers could also be successfully prosecuted on felonies for violating the Lacey Act. The act makes it illegal to knowingly transport or sell in interstate commerce any wildlife taken or possessed in violation of state law or regulation.

Steve Oberholtzer, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said. “This is the largest case in the history of wildlife law enforcement in Kansas. Trophy deer are an important resource for the state from both wildlife and economic standpoints.” The butlers sold deer hunts for between 2,500 and 5,000 dollars and guided their clients to some true trophy areas. The USFWS was able to confiscate more than 100 mounts from the brothers, with bucks ranging in the 120-inch class to over 200 inches.

You can read the full article here in the Wichita Eagle News.


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