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Wyoming: Elk Poacher Nabbed Thanks To Stuck Pickup


Wyoming: Elk Poacher Nabbed Thanks To Stuck Pickup

By Todd Helms

Corey Cruz poached a bull elk south of Rawlins, Wyoming last fall. Cruz shot the bull in elk area 108 (a limited quota area) and tagged it with his general elk tag, a big no, no! Cruz may have gotten away with the crime if his pickup had not gotten stuck while attempting to retrieve the elk, and his subsequent posting about killing the bull on social media. 

The poaching debacle involved a missing persons call to Search and Rescue which ended in an investigation by Wyoming Game and Fish wardens. The details are like something from a movie and ends with Cruz pleading guilty in May. He was fined $1570, “sentenced to 90 days in jail, with 82 days suspended and credit for days already served…” His hunting and fishing priveledges have also been recinded for five years. 

This case is strange but what really has me scratching my head is the punishment doled out to Cruz. It amounts to a slap on the wrist and a slap in the face of law abiding hunters. As I’ve said numerous times, I can understand a mistake but have little tolerance for blatant disregard of game laws as is the case here. If Cruz unknowingly killed his bull in the wrong area then the right thing to do would have been to self report the mishap and face the consequences. 

Either way, what truly irks me about this case is the ridiculously lenient punishment handed down. People like this aren’t deterred by the revocation of hunting priveledges, they will continue to poach game and $1570 dollars is a rent payment these days. It seems to me a fine of triple that amount or more and mandatory community service with the Wyoming Game and Fish would be better.

What say you? 

2 Responses

  1. Five year restriction of hunting license won’t stop these guys. They hunt without the proper license anyway.

    Hit em in the pocket book and jail, plus restoration of every penny spent on the investigation and prosecution. Maybe that will get their attention.

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