Hunters beware --
- $42,000 for illegal kills
By Gary Gerhardt, Rocky Mountain News
November 30, 2006
MEEKER - Six New York hunters and a friend from Massachusetts spent a night
in jail and paid $42,000 in fines for killing deer illegally near Meeker.
State Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said someone notified
game wardens there was a group of men in a black Hummer with out-of-state
plates that may have illegally shot a deer on private property.
On Nov. 17, wildlife officers collected evidence and talked to people in the
No one witnessed the poaching, but everyone saw the Hummer cruising area
roads with its occupants apparently watching deer and elk herds.
The Hummer was located at an area ranch bunkhouse along with the seven
hunters, who were identified as: David Souza Jr., 49, Thomas Gray, 35, and
Raymond Selah Jr., 41, all of Johnsville, N.Y.; Robert Bertholde, 54, and
Timothy Rocklin, 21, both of Fort Plain, N.Y.; David Weber, 34, of
Nelliston, N.Y.; and Stanley Tomkiewicz, 60, of Acushnet, Mass.
The men consented to a search of the bunkhouse and surrounding property, and
wildlife officers said they found a number of animal carcasses and antlers.
Several carcasses were legally tagged, but others did not have tags, or the
tags were invalid, officers said. Several of the carcasses were concealed.
The local district attorney and Division of Wildlife officers agreed to
allow each of the men to plead guilty to illegal possession of wildlife,
with each agreeing to pay a $6,000 fine.
They also face an administrative hearing that will determine the length of
time they will be barred from hunting and fishing in Colorado and 23 other
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