William “Spook” Spann, a well-known bow hunter, age 50, from Dickson, Tenn., pleaded guilty at U.S District Court in Kansas City to illegally killing a trophy Kansas deer in 2007.
A court press release stated Spann admitted to harvesting the buck in Stafford County on property he did not own. His permit for that year required him to hunt only property he did own. Spann and the cameraman saw the buck on property owned by someone else, but they stalked the buck and shot him at about 10 yards. The video of this illegal hunt has been widely circulated.
If the buck had been shot legally, it would have been one of the top bucks shot in Kansas, and one of the top shot in the world at that time. The buck had non-typical antlers at about 230 inches on the Pope & Young rating scale, with a net score of 224 inches.
Spann was charged with transporting the illegally killed deer across state lines, which is a violation of the federal Lacey Act. The court release said prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed Spann be sentenced to three years federal probation, six month suspension of U.S. hunting privileges, additional six month ban from hunting in Kansas, a fine of $10,000, and possibly another $10,000 could be paid in Restitution to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 28.