On July 26 Circuit Court Judge Michael L. Greer sentenced Thayne, Wyo. resident Stetson Long after he plead guilty to four counts of taking a deer without the proper license. Long’s hunting privileges had already been suspended from a previous incident that occurred in 2016 when he was convicted of illegally killing two deer.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department Game Wardens Neil Hymas and James Hobbs investigated Long after they received a report from a ranch manager near Cokeville, Wyo. that he discovered four sets of fresh mule deer antlers hidden in a barn on the ranch. During their investigation, Hymas and Hobbs determined Long had been working on the ranch and during the period of November 5 and November 13, 2018 Long killed four antlered mule deer. During their interviews with Long he admitted to killing the deer. Hymas and Hobbs located the remains of the deer. The skull plates and antlers were removed from the deer and the deer carcasses were left to waste.
Long was sentenced to serve six months in the Lincoln County Detention Center and ordered to pay $16,000.00 in restitution to the Game and Fish. Long was placed on unsupervised probation for 18 months with the possibility of another 18 months of jail and additional $20,000.00 in fines if he violates that probation. Long’s hunting privileges were also suspended for 20 years and his fishing privileges were suspended for 10 years.
Lincoln County Attorney Spencer L. Allred stated, “This is one of the more egregious poaching cases we have seen in the State. Not only were these deer taken for their antlers, but the rest of the meat was completely wasted. We are pleased that a serious jail sentence, fines, and suspension of his hunting and fishing privileges were given. The Lincoln County Attorney’s Office thanks the Wyoming Game and Fish for their excellent work on this case and their dedication to our wildlife in this State.”
Anyone with information on a wildlife violation may call the Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847). Tips may be reported online at wgfd.wyo.gov, directly to the local game warden, or by calling the Green River Game and Fish Office at-1-307-875-3223. Poaching information may also be texted; text keyword WGFD a message to TIP411 (847-411).
A cash reward is provided by the Wyoming Wildlife Protectors Association (WWPA) to individuals who provide information leading to an arrest and conviction of poachers. Informants are not required to reveal their name, testify in court or sign a deposition, allowing for complete anonymity if requested. Reward amounts for tips leading to convictions ordinarily range from $100 up to $5,000. A certificate of appreciation is sent to each informant along with the cash reward. All reward payments come from court-ordered restitution paid by defendants directly to the WWPA or donations from individuals and non-governmental organizations.