Big Sandy antler poachers nabbed
Pinedale Garden Warden, Brian Nesvik (left), and Green River Game Warden, Duane Kerr (right), hold the antlers of the two trophy mule deer bucks that were illegally shot in the Big Sandy area south of Pinedale on December 2. Photo by Lucy Wold, WGFD.
December 10, 2006
(Rock Springs) – Three Rock Springs men were nabbed by Wyoming Game & Fish officials for poaching several mule deer to get their antlers.
On Saturday, December 2, Wyoming Game & Fish Department game warden Brad Gibb noticed a suspicious vehicle while patrolling deer winter range near the Big Sandy River. He managed get a partial license plate number of a vehicle. The next morning he discovered a dead buck deer with the antlers gone.
With a vehicle description, partial license plate and tire track information, he got assistance by game wardens from Pinedale, Big Piney, Riverton and Green River. While that kill site was being investigated, a concerned person advised wardens that he had found another dead deer in the area with the antlers gone. That site was also located and investigated.
Officials were able to track down the license plate information and narrow it down to the pickup truck they were searching for. That led them to John D. May, 41, Mike May, 37, and Jerry M. Harris, 30, of Rock Springs. The vehicle parked in front of the residence matched the suspect vehicle.
Search warrant in hand, officials went to the home. After being interviewed on December 5, all three men admitted to being involved in killing two bucks. Only the antlers of the bucks were taken and the carcasses left to rot at the kill sites.
Officers recovered both sets of antlers. The subjects apparently went to this remote deer winter range with the intent of killing large bucks, partly because they felt that deer like this aren’t available to hunters during the season.
Officers involved in the investigation were game wardens Brian Nesvik, Brad Hovinga, Brad Gibb and Duane Kerr. Also involved were game warden coordinator Scott Werbelow and wildlife technician Ryan Kenneda. Officers from the Rock Springs police department also provided assistance with serving search warrants.
The Sublette County Attorney is studying the information gathered and charges against the three men are pending.
Anyone with information about any wildlife violation should call their local game warden or the STOP Poaching Hotline at 1-800-442-4331.
Wyoming Game & Fish