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Kansas News

Texas Man Gets Jail Time in Largest Trophy Deer Poaching Case In U.S. History

by North American Whitetail Online Staff   |  June 22nd, 2011 8

Image courtesy of Mike Hutmacher/The Wichita Eagle

Michael Pearce of the Wichita Eagle is reporting that James Butler Jr. (age 42), who operated Camp Lone Star in Comanche County, was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $50,000 in fines and restitution in a U.S. District Court in Wichita, KS this past Tuesday for what’s being called one of the largest trophy deer poaching case in U.S. History.
The Eagle reports about 60 clients or staff of Butler’s operation illegally shot 110 trophy deer between 2005 and 2008.

The stomach-turning investigation revealed the operation poached deer with rifles during archery season, killed deer without tags and in wrong units, spotlighted trophy bucks, and used night-vision scopes on rifles.

The Butler’s charged between $2,500 and $5,500 for hunts.

Marlin Butler, James’ brother, faces sentencing on Friday.

Image courtesy of Kansas Wildlife & Parks

“Illegal wildlife trafficking is a threat to the natural resources of Kansas. Our goal is to preserve and protect wildlife for everyone to enjoy – including hunters who abide by the law,” said Barry Grissom, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas.

At least 100 mounts were on display at the press conference held at the Great Plains Nature Center after the sentencing. You can view photo gallery from the Wichita Eagle of the mounts by clicking here.

Click HERE to read the entire account from the Wichita Eagle.

  • Julie Widener

    Such a disgrace to all of us hunters who know what respect for other hunters and wildlife, and the law means. This is one huge reason people look down on hunters. We all have to pay the price.

  • Dave

    i just think of all the deer that could have been taken by a young hunter,that could have givin them a love for the sport and changed there life.its sad to see such nice animals taken in such a bad way.i have hunted for years and have never once poached an animal.its the sport i love and the challenge its not a sport when done like this.

  • tim

    thats what happens when you start paying big money to hunt trophy bucks . paying the big fees took all the fun out of the sport money in the pockets of a lot of non sportsmen. and also makes it hard for us true sportsmen to find hunting land.

    • DAPACE

      Tim, well said.

  • Rick

    you know it used to be a friendly sport that encouraged your fellow hunter to enjoy what mother nature has to offer. Many of us have forgotten what it is to really love hunting.I used to talk with people about the deer I have seen or harvested but no longer have the desire due to tha fact that someone always has to be bigger or score more. If we do not change the way Deer Hunting is viewed we will never regain the love of the Whitetail

  • Craig

    I know Texas and NY are two of are biggest states,but why do so many crooks seem to come from there?


    Iowa ills

  • Bob

    Hate to say it guys but regarding poaching in Kansas, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

  • Bill

    Such horrifying and shameful acts by all involved! The penalties and punishments that these sickening individuals received for their offenses should have been much more severe! They should be fined a minimum of $1,000.00 per animal and be sentenced to a minimum of 5 years in a Kansas State Correctional facility! Also, they should never again be able to obtain a hunting license of any kind in any state and should have nothing but a restricted driver's license for the rest of their lives! We MUST STOP this activity! Also, the people that purchased and participated in these "hunts" should be severely punished as well. My God, what have people become? My heart is aching from all this!

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