The illegal sale of deer skulls has landed a man in trouble in Oklahoma.
Steven Thorton, formerly of Oklahoma, attempted to sell two buck skulls to undercover game wardens for $500 in Oklahoma. Instead of making some fast cash, he has now been fined $11,000 for violating state laws prohibiting the sale of antlers still attached to a skull plate.
Approximately $8,000 of Thorton’s huge fine is going towards restitution. Since big sets of antlers can go for big money, Oklahoma’s law is geared towards preventing poachers from illegally killing big bucks for the dollars.
Deer mounts can be sold legally, but only if the antlers are detached and re-attached with screws. Keep in mind, this practice could make submitting a buck for big game records later troubling however.
The game warden in the newscast gives a good explanation on the importance of big game laws and why these are enforced. It may seem like an extreme fine, but I get the feeling it was partially to send a message to other potential law-breakers.
The lesson here is, always check your big game laws. The sale of deer skulls may not seem like a huge crime, but as illustrated by the fine, the law will always take things more seriously than you do!