Michael and Teresa Rinehart along with 30 of their clients have been pinned to a poaching investigation that began in 2011 by the Shoshone and Arapaho Fish and Game and was concluded with assistance from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
The Rinehart’s have been found guilty of Lacey Act violations and Wyoming Game and Fish violations due to the baiting of deer and subsequent illegal harvest of deer on their property adjacent to the Wind River Indian Reservation. $60,000 in fines have been issued and the Rineharts face suspended hunting privileges as well. Their 30 “clients” from 11 different states also face various charges.
Now for my take… I can’t stand people like this. People who use and abuse our state’s wonderous resources to make a buck by calling themselves “outfitters”, all while giving legitimate guides and outfitters a black eye. People like the Rineharts are nothing more than poachers, plain and simple. They should also be treated as such. I don’t think $60k is enough of a fine and don’t get me started on self-supervised probation and suspension of hunting privileges. The Rineharts and others like them need to serve jail time and once they get out, community service, lots of it!
Until we are willing to get tough on poachers, incidents such as this will continue. Enough is enough, we need stringent and severe, codified poaching sentencing guidelines. Anybody want to help me draft a proposal? I’m all ears.