In 1995, two individuals stalked a trophy bull elk in Estes Park, Colorado, and illegally killed him and three other elk. That one elk was affectionately referred to as Samson by Estes Park residents and his death had a profound impact not only on them, but Colorado wildlife laws.
Referred to as "Samson’s Law", a regulation was enacted placing heavy fines on hunters accused of illegally hunting, taking, or possessing big game in Colorado assigning an additional surcharge. Under this law, fines are as follows: for each bull elk with at least six points on one antler beam, $10,000, for each mule deer buck with an inside antler spread of at least twenty-two inches, $10,000, for each whitetail deer buck with an inside antler spread of at least eighteen inches, $10,000, for each bull moose, $10,000, for each bighorn sheep with a horn length of at least one-half curl, $25,000, for each mountain goat, $10,000, for each pronghorn antelope with a horn length of at least fourteen inches, $4,000.
Effectively, Samson’s Law places stiffer penalties on those who illegally hunt trophies in the state. For some, who find themselves with the harvest of a lifetime and innocently made a small mistake, these penalties can seem stiff.
If you find yourself facing a fine under Samson’s Law, consult with a Wildlife Lawyer before making any decisions. Our attorneys know that mistakes can happen and will help guide you through the legal process.