Friday, March 20, 2009

Game Trails fined for illegal deer kills

Game Trails Lodge, which operated a hunting guide service in Crittenden and Union counties, and its outfitting manager were fined Thursday, March 19 in U.S. District Court in Owensboro for misdemeanor violations of the Lacey Act.

The hunting outfitter pleaded guilty of taking female deer, known as does, and shipping some of their parts out of state.

Game Trails was ordered to pay a $35,000 fine and manager Dirk McTavish Jr., was ordered to to pay a $15,000 fine.

According to the Evansville Courier Newspaper, the charges arose out of Game Trails’ practice of the killing of does over the limit at its leased property (formerly Kimball International) on Ky. 365, near Strugis, between June 1, 2006 and Nov. 30, 2007. The defendants pleaded guilty to shipping parts of the wildlife to Atlanta.

The Evansville newspaper also reported that Game Trails and its agents used the Social Security numbers of hunters at the lodge without their permission to report the deer as having been legally taken to Kentucky Fish & Wildlife’s telecheck program. McTavish was the Lodge Manager at Game Trails Lodge at the time, was aware of and participated in the violations, according to court records.

The case was was investigated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.