Professional Hunters & Media
It looks like the incredible skill and persistence of Tim Phillips in Missouri led to the harvesting of a 39-point buck this week, which has recently been dubbed the “St. Paul giant.” We look forward to seeing what the final score turns out to be on this amazing animal.
Congratulations from everyone at Wildlifelawyers.com!
We advise big game hunters across the globe on all of their legal hunting and outdoor questions and issues. Call for a free consultation today.
Billy Buspice, co-host of the reality-TV show “Wildgame Nation” and star of A&E’s upcoming series “Country Buck$,” had his hunting and fishing privileges revoked this week until 2019 by a Louisiana Circuit Court judge as part of his sentencing for charges of allowing an antlerless elk to go to waste and hunting without a license. Buspice will also be placed on supervised probation for a year-and-a-half and pay $23,000 in fines and restitution.
On October 16 of last year, hunters witnessed an individual filming a man on Buspice’s property shooting a calf and a bull elk. According to the hunters, the men examined the two carcasses, which were approximately sixty yards apart, and then departed without them. A man later returned to retrieve the bull elk, the hunters said, but left the calf carcass in the field.
The shooter was Buspice, who eventually stated that he had accidentally hit the calf while aiming for the elk. He also admitted to later instructing two individuals to hide the abandoned carcass in a drainage ditch.
The charges are not Buspice’s first. He received a citation earlier in 2016 for purchasing a resident elk license as a non-resident, and he’s also been cited for purchasing deer licensees beyond the authorized number permitted. In addition, Busbice is being sued in civil court by a hunter who was arrested in 2013 for killing a deer on Busbice’s property without permission.
As a result of the charges, Buspice is now banned from hunting in at least forty-five states until 2019, including his home state of Louisiana. Furthermore, violating his probation terms by hunting without a license could result in an additional six months of jail time.
Many hunters remain unaware that a license suspension or revocation in one state can transfer to nearly all of them. In addition, it can be difficult to remain up-to-date on changes in local, state, and federal hunting and fishing regulations each year – which means that many of the 15.4 million license holders nationwide may be unintentionally violating any number of laws.
If you’re planning a hunting or fishing trip – or if you’ve received a citation or been charged with a violation – knowing what your rights are can be crucial in keeping your license and privileges. Our office can help you ensure that you’re enjoying the outdoors – and that you’re doing so in full compliance with the law.
Colorado is a state that takes wildlife seriously. The state has many laws regarding conduct outlined in its official statutes. Specifically, the legislation in the Wildlife and Parks and Outdoor Recreation laws, Article 6 describes the general provisions of what is considered a punishable offense.
In total, these statutes define what prosecutors and state officials regard as violations for improperly taking wildlife, carrying the wrong hunting provisions, and using computer-assisted remote hunting. They also describe the extent of punishment you could face if you are accused of violating one of these hunting laws.
According to §33-6-103, if you are caught and convicted of violating any hunting statutes, each violation shall “extend to and include every part of such wildlife, and a violation as to each animal or part thereof shall be a separate offense.” Two or more offenses could be charged in the same complaint, information, or indictment, and any proof as to part of an animal is sufficient to sustain a charge as if you had the whole animal. If convicted, you could also face hefty fines and a suspension of your license privileges.
If hunting is what you love, don’t take risks regarding your ability to continue doing it. You need an experienced Colorado wildlife defense attorney to defend your rights and your hunting privileges. Our lawyers’ first-hand hunting experience allows them to provide our clients with nuanced legal representation. We understand what you are going through, and we have assisted many hunters with various legal issues, such as Federal Lacy Act Violations, trespassing charges, and hunting without a permit. Whether you want to prepare for hunting season or have encountered an issue during hunting season, we can help. Let us take care of all the details and create a strategy that is custom-made for your defense.
Contact us at (720) 836-1777 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case evaluation today.
As warmer weather approaches, everyone is looking forward to spending time outdoors – especially Colorado anglers. Resisting the state’s assortment of over thirty different fish species, which range from stunning rainbow trout to hard-hitting northern pike, along with the state’s public access to 9,500 miles of streams, 2,000 natural lakes, and 800 reservoirs, is nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, however, a surprising number of anglers remain unaware of the numerous regulations that the state places on fishing. For example, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) releases a myriad of rules each year that address everything from permissible bait to protected species. Furthermore, the regulations may vary depending on the waterbody, and there is no guarantee that last year’s standards are the same as this year’s. As a result, many well-intentioned fishermen can find themselves inadvertently outside of the law at the start of a new fishing season.
To prevent paying significant fines – or even losing their fishing rights altogether –Colorado anglers should ensure they understand all relevant CPW regulations before casting out their first lines. Such restrictions include bag limitations, species length requirements, proper licensure, fishing time limits, waterbody-specific rules, and more.
Many of these rules can be found in the 2017 Colorado Fishing Brochure, an up-to-date guide on the subject. As its numerous pages illustrate, there are various regulations pertaining to specific fishing areas. For example, Cherry Creek Reservoir, located in Arapahoe County, has a CPW special regulation that limits the take of walleye to only one fish longer than twenty-one inches per day. Conversely, Stagecoach Reservoir in Routt County also has a special regulation that puts no limitation on walleye takes for individuals.
For someone attempting to abide by the state’s fishing laws, the number of requirements necessary for compliance can be daunting. Furthermore, the CPW tickets individuals for rule violations, such as using live bait in a waterbody that only allows artificial flies and lures or unlawfully taking and possessing a fish species during a closed season.
Notably, the odds of committing a violation increase for individuals fishing in unfamiliar waters. Also, because these laws vary widely from state to state, it can be easy to fail to recognize a violation. For these reasons, making sure you’ve received reliable information before embarking on a fishing trip in Colorado is highly recommended.
Colorado’s 2017 fishing license sales began on March 15, and the upcoming season promises to draw many of us out to the water in search of a trophy catch. But, like any fishing season, it’s important to know what regulations you and your companions must abide by, especially considering that Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers check for proper licenses and compliance with daily bag limits all season long.
At Welsh Law, LLC, we can assist you in ensuring compliance with all applicable laws on your next fishing trip. From expedition compliance planning to protect your rights if you’ve received a ticket, our experienced team of wildlife attorneys can help you get the most out of the 2017 fishing season – and enjoy it legally.
For additional consultation on Wildlife, Hunting, or related matters, please contact an experienced professional at Welsh Law, LLC at 866-477-8616 toll-free.
From the Steamboat Pilot and Today:
Steamboat Springs — The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife and the Miller Creek Ranch in Meeker are offering big-game hunters an opportunity to apply for a limited number of private-property elk and mule deer hunts beginning Nov. 3, according to a news release.
Interested hunters must submit an application by 5 p.m. Wednesday to Colorado Parks and Wildlife — Meeker Office, Attn: Bailey Franklin/Special Miller Creek Ranch Hunts, P.O. Box 1181, Meeker, CO 81641. The application can be found at https://cpw.state.co.us/.
Nine hunts will be available to hunters who already have drawn limited deer and elk licenses for Game Management Unit 23 during the 2012 big-game hunting seasons. In addition, one public bull elk hunt will be available to any big-game hunter who plans to purchase an unlimited, over-the-counter bull elk license for the third rifle season in 2012.
On April 25, the Colorado House of Representatives passed House Bill 1330. Championed by State Representative Jon Becker, House Bill 1330 would create an appeals process for Colorado hunters and anglers with suspended hunting or fishing licenses.
Specifically, the Bill would give a person with a hunting or fishing license suspension the ability to petition the commission of wildlife to reinstate their privileges. A hunter or angler could petition the commission up to three times after half of their suspension was served if the commission determines that the outdoorsman in question is unlikely to offend again, has maintained a clean record since receiving the suspension, and finally, only if the suspension is their first. In the alternative, if the suspension is a lifetime suspension, a person can only petition after 10 years of the suspension has been served.
If the commission determines that the suspension should be administratively ended, the Bill allows the commission to order a $300.00 maximum fee, 40 hours of service on wildlife projects, or the completion of an educational course to be determined by the Commission.
The Bill could completely change the legal landscape for first-time violators. Prior to this Bill, a hunter or outfitter would face significant administrative penalties without an appropriate recourse. In Mr. Becker’s own words, "[t]his bill gives hunters and anglers in Colorado an avenue for appeal they’ve never had before. House Bill 1330 affords sportsmen a hearing process that will help them pursue their passion for years to come if no wrongdoing can be found."
Not only does this bill give a hunter or angler the ability to continue to hunt or fish in Colorado, but it would also affect his or her rights in other states under the Wildlife Violator Compact. In other words, if a violation occurred in Colorado, the other 35 states could choose to adopt any suspension levied by Colorado. Similarly, if Colorado chooses to reinstate a hunter’s privileges, other states will also likely be forced to consider the same. In fact, states across the board may begin following Colorado’s lead.
House Bill 1330 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
Stay tuned. We’ll follow this one for you and keep you posted.
Cody Doig, Esq.
Famed rock musician, conservationist, and political activist Ted Nugent pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a federal wildlife violation after he failed to recover a wounded black bear three years ago on an archery hunt in Alaska. Mr. Nugent agreed to pay $10,600.00 in fines and restitution and stated "I’m afraid I was blindsided by this, and I sincerely apologize to everyone for it."
Mr. Nugent, even as a well-traveled and savvy hunter, was "blindsided" by a labyrinth of hunting rules and regulations. Alaska, like every other state, gives each hunter the affirmative responsibility to know the laws that control every hunt. In Mr. Nugent’s case, he was responsible for knowing that even "wounding" a bear in Alaska is the functional equivalent of "taking" a bear and would satisfy Mr. Nugent’s bag limit even if the bear was never recovered. See Alaska Hunting Regulations here. Ignorance of the law is no defense and mistakes of this caliber can cost you thousands of dollars in fines, and perhaps more importantly, your hunting privileges.
Mr. Nugent’s case, however unfortunate, clarifies an extremely important lesson. Hunters, unlike football players or boxers, must heavily rely on their moral compass to decipher right and wrong. As Aldo Leopold observed in his flagship work, A Sand County Almanac:
"[a] peculiar virtue in wildlife ethics is that the hunter ordinarily has no gallery to applaud or disapprove of his conduct. Whatever his acts, they are dictated by his own conscience, rather than by a mob of onlookers. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of this fact."
Already, hunting forums across the internet rage about whether and for how long Mr. Nugent should have followed the wounded bear and if he should have hung up his bow REGARDLESS of whether it was illegal to take another bear. See, https://www.monstermuleys.info/xf/threads/nugent-guilty-again.14426/. Hunters across the country offer different perspectives and most are contingent on a host of facts that no one but Mr. Nugent would understand. In fact, Mr. Nugent may have made a remarkably ethical decision. This however is of little consequence in court and clearly shows why we as hunters cannot afford to rely on our common sense notions of ethics in the wild. Our privileges as hunters may be guided by our ethics, but they are controlled by the law.
Planning your hunt, whether it’s an over-the-counter archery trip in Colorado, or a dream quest to Alaska, requires more than looking at maps. Your success is contingent on knowing the laws and following them closely. If you have a big hunt in the future, call us and let us help you figure out exactly what you need to do (and not do). Or saddle up next to Mr. Nugent.
Cody Doig, Esq.