Hunters often say “that guy should be put in prison!” for a game violation, or something along those lines including jail, prison, heavy fines, loss of hunting rights or other penalties.
Wyoming has tugged on the heartstrings of some of those folks by making poaching a felony. It didn’t take too long for someone to find out they weren’t kidding, either.
The Casper Star-Tribune relates the story of Colton Lapp, 19, of Worland, Wyo., who is the first person in the state to become a felon for poaching
From the Star-Tribune:
Lapp, 19, pleaded guilty Monday to three felony poaching counts of killing antlered deer out of season. The plea agreement calls for him to give up his hunting and fishing privileges for life in Wyoming and 37 other states. The sentencing recommendation is for a boot camp program for the first count and probation for the other two.
If he does not successfully complete the boot camp program or probation, he could face up to two years in prison for each of the three counts, said Marcia Bean, deputy Hot Springs County prosecutor.
“I think this is the exact case of why we pursued this legislation,” said Scott Werbelow, game warden supervisor in the Cody region who has dealt with parts of the Lapp case. “He literally went out and poached five more deer within a couple of days after his previous conviction of a couple of other deer.”
In November 2010, Lapp shot and killed a large buck south of Worland. While officials served a search warrant, they found a second deer carcass. He was found guilty for the first crime in April and the second as an accessory in December, Werbelow said.
Sometime between his conviction on Dec. 19 and Dec. 28, he allegedly shot another five deer, Werbelow said.
With the previous convictions, state officials could — and did — pursue felony charges. Read more in the Star-Tribune about this situation.
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