Las Vegas, Caliente men convicted of illegally harvesting mule deer
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Three men were convicted of harassing a mule deer buck with a drone before illegally killing the animal, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife on Tuesday.
Bailey Thompson, 23, of Las Vegas, James Ebert, 51, and Justin Ebert, 22, both from Caliente, spotted a trophy-sized buck on private property in Hunt Unit 242.
Knowing they could not legally shoot the animal on private property, they used a drone to harass the mule deer off private property. Once on public land, Thompson illegally shot and killed the animal.
While Thompson did possess a mule deer buck tag, it was for Unit 221-222 and not the unit where the buck was killed.
Thompson was convicted of three gross misdemeanors: unlawful killing of a big game animal, unlawful possession of a big game animal, and conspiracy. The Eberts were both convicted on two gross misdemeanors each: unlawful possession of a big game animal and conspiracy.
“I’m not quite sure what these men were thinking,” said Game Warden Capt. Jake Kreamer. “They went to the trouble of illegally using a drone to chase this animal off private land only to shoot it in the wrong unit. All their efforts only compounded their trouble.”
All three individuals will split a $15,000 civil penalty for their convictions.
Additionally, all three will have their hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges suspended for five years. They will also forfeit any bonus points they have accrued for big game in Nevada.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Kreamer. “These men saw a buck they wanted and decided the rules didn’t pertain to them. They knew they were in the wrong unit. They knew using the drone to push the animal was illegal. They just thought they wouldn’t get caught and now they’re stuck with some pretty steep fines and penalties.”
With the suspension, all three men will be entered into the Interstate Wildlife Violators.
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