“Investigators sent tissue and jerky samples from these animals to the Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic Lab for DNA comparison,” the release adds. “Through this work, the lab was able to identify a combination of 18 unique mule deer and pronghorn antelope that were poached.”
A Natrona County, Wyoming resident will be forced to pay $45,070 in restitution, forfeit all weapons used in the poaching and will not be able to hunt or trap for five years in Wyoming and 48 other states which are members of the Wildlife Violator Compact. Authorities were first made aware of the malfeasance when a citizen provided a tip via the “Stop Poaching Hotline.”
The ensuing investigation showed that the suspect had been illegally taking mule deer and pronghorns to prop up a failing beef jerky business, passing the game meat jerky off as beef and selling it both in Wyoming and online.
Poaching incidents like this can escalate to high levels, impacting wildlife on a large scale if not discovered and snuffed out quickly. This is why we as sportsmen and women must be vigilant and willing to police and report our ranks when we suspect wildlife violations.
Most states have poaching hotlines to report suspected violations, a quick Google search will uncover the contact information.
Wyoming Game and Fish – “To report wildlife violations, visit the Game and Fish website, call the Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP or text keyword WGFD and message to (307) 847-411.”