Colorado isn't messing around with poachers of trophy animals.
Three men have been hit with some major fines after pleading guilty to poaching a big buck in northwestern Colorado.
Two of the men, 65-year-old John Summerville and his son, 36-year-old Jon Summerville are from Mississippi. The third man, 60-year-old Danny Jeffcoat is from Colorado. The latter man will pay $408.50 in court fees and will have to donate $10,000 to Colorado's wildlife tip line, Operation Game Thief. He will also have to serve a year of probation.
According to the Gazette, the Summerville men will have to pay a $14,000 combined fine and a year of probation. The men are all accused of poaching a large mule deer that wildlife officials say is one of the largest to come out of the area in a while.
In addition to the fines, the men will all lose their hunting rights for a year in Colorado. They may lose them in more states under the Wildlife Violators compact.
The details of the exact size of the buck shot weren't given, but the Gazette reports the men have been hit with penalties under Colorado's "Samson Law" that adds additional fines for larger deer or elk. The men also attempted to use another man's license to pass the deer off as a legal harvest.
That man, 48-year-old Kirk Anderson of Missouri, was fined $220 for illegally transferring his hunting license.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is planning to use the confiscated antlers of the buck as an educational tool about poaching in the near future.
These men are just the latest poachers to be hit hard by Colorado's "Samson Law" designed to crack down on the poaching of trophy animals. Earlier this month, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee was hit with a similarly large fine for the October 2014 poaching a trophy elk from an area off-limits to hunting.
It's safe to say Colorado is not messing around anymore when it comes to poaching!