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Wyoming Man Fined $18K for Poaching 394" Elk

September 9, 2011.

From Wyoming Game and Fish:

A three-year-old case involving the poaching of two large bull elk near Laramie was recently resolved with Robert Mason of Tie Siding receiving heavy fines for the illegal killing of two trophy class elk in 2008.

Mason was assessed $18,000 in fines and restitution by Albany County Circuit Court Judge Robert Castor. In addition, Judge Castor revoked Mason's hunting privileges for six years.

Laramie game warden Bill Haley started his investigation into the incident following a tip from a concerned individual, that back in 2008, Mason had illegally killed a large bull elk during the archery season. Haley uncovered enough information to obtain a search warrant and with the help of fellow wildlife officers John Demaree, Kelly Todd, and Jason Sherwood, a search of Mason's premises was conducted where the antlers of the elk in question were found.

The search revealed that Mason had also illegally harvested a second bull in 2008. Haley's investigation showed that Mason held a general license during 2008, when the elk were taken, but the two elk were killed in Elk Hunt Area 8 which is a limited quota area where general elk licenses are not valid.

Haley said that Mason had shot the larger elk which was scored at 394 points on the Boone and Crockett trophy measuring system on one of his hunting trips, but didn't find the animal until a week later. In the meantime, he had killed another trophy class elk. Because he was hunting in a limited quota area with a general license, both of the kills were illegal. Mason was charged with taking a trophy class big game animal without a proper license and an over-limit of elk.

Haley said it was a terrible waste that two trophy class animals were removed from the population depriving legal hunters of an opportunity to harvest a once-in-a-lifetime trophy. "Judge Castor remains a strong supporter of wildlife law enforcement efforts," Haley said. "Hopefully the fines levied will send a message to illegal hunters that their actions will not be tolerated."

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