New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Clint Henson, (505) 445-2311
clint.henson@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, AUG. 9, 2007:

SHOOTERS KILL ELK, RUIN SIGNS, STUFF DEAD RABBITS IN MAIL BOXES
POACHERS FINED $15,000 FOR KILLING 4 COW ELK
DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND FISH SEEKS INFORMATION ABOUT POACHED ANTELOPE


SHOOTERS KILL ELK, RUIN SIGNS, STUFF DEAD RABBITS IN MAIL BOXES

RATON -- Two men who pleaded guilty to poaching a bull elk, shooting holes in ranch and highway signs, and placing dead rabbits in mail boxes agreed to donate $2,000 each to High Country Crime Stoppers in lieu of court fines.  

Chaz Pilley 17, and Will Wood, 25, both of Springer, also were sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation after they pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal damage to property, negligent use of a firearm, hunting elk with the aid of artificial light, and unlawful killing of elk. The judge suspended fines of $2,800 each for their promises to donate $2,000 each to Crime Stoppers.

The charges stemmed from a May 2007 investigation by Department of Game and Fish officers Rey Sanchez and Jason Kline. The UU Bar Ranch and the Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron reported   criminal damage to gates, locks and highway signs and a bull elk that appeared to have been illegally killed with the aid of headlights.

The officers found a lock and a ranch sign that had been shot numerous times with .22- and .380-caliber firearms. They also found highway signs that had been run over by a vehicle, and dead rabbits that had been placed in mailboxes and on ranch signs. The bull elk was also found shot numerous times with .22- and .380-caliber firearms.

The Department of Game and Fish offers rewards for information leading to the arrest of wildlife criminals.   If you have information regarding wildlife crimes, please call 1-800-432-GAME.   Callers can remain anonymous.

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POACHERS FINED $15,000 FOR KILLING 4 COW ELK

RATON -- Four men convicted of a variety of elk poaching charges recently were fined $15,000 and assessed $644 court costs in Colfax County Magistrate Court in connection with the killing of four cow elk in December 2006.

Charges included exceeding the bag limit of elk, failure to tag elk, unlawful possession and unlawful killing of elk, hunting with a license issued to another, and hunting without a valid license. Department of Game and Fish officers Ty Jackson and Jason Kline found the hunting party with three dead cow elk in their possession when they checked the hunters' camp, then later discovered a fourth cow elk in Taos that had been tagged illegally.  

Herman Olguin, 54, of Taos , was convicted by a jury of two counts of unlawful possession of elk, exceeding the bag limit of elk, and accessory to unlawful killing of elk. He was sentenced to six months in the Colfax County Detention Center and fined $4, 208. It was Herman Olguin's fifth conviction of wildlife law violations.   New Mexico law allows for higher penalties for continued wildlife-law violations.

Johnny Olguin, 30, of Albuquerque and nephew to Herman Olguin, was convicted of two counts of unlawful possession of elk. He was sentenced to 182 days unsupervised probation and fined $1,114.

Travis Holland, 29, of Clayton, was convicted of two counts of unlawful possession of elk, and hunting elk without a valid license. He was sentenced to 364 days unsupervised probation and fined $5,108. It was Holland 's second Game and Fish conviction.

Bill Burch, 69, of Angel Fire, was convicted of unlawful possession of elk and hunting with a license issued to another. Burch was sentenced to 182 days unsupervised probation and fined $1,214.

Charges against two other suspects were dropped.

If you have information about a wildlife crime, please call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-432-4263. Don't let anyone steal your wildlife.

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DEPARTMENT OF GAME AND FISH SEEKS INFORMATION ABOUT POACHED ANTELOPE

CLAYTON -- New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officers are looking for information about a buck antelope that was illegally killed Aug. 7 near Clayton.  

Conservation Officer Levi Irwin investigated and found that a vehicle had chased the antelope before it was shot and left to rot on Cody Heimann's property.

Operation Game Thief offers rewards for information that leads to the arrest or charges against wildlife law violators. Please call toll-free, (800) 432-4263 if you have any information about this crime or any other. Callers can remain anonymous and receive $350 for information about cases involving antelope.

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