The owner of Great American Antler Co. lost all his hunting privileges after taking shed antlers from closed areas.
Joshua Anders Rae, formerly of Jackson, Wyoming, recently pleaded guilty to possessing and transporting over 104 pounds of illegally obtained elk antlers, according to a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Rae, the owner of Great American Antler Co., has made a career out of selling cut-up pieces of elk antlers for dogs to chew on. But a joint investigation from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and Wyoming Game and Fish Department revealed he'd been entering the National Elk Refuge and the Bridger-Teton National Forest during the elk overwinertering season.
Agreeing to a plea deal, he was sentenced to five years of unsupervised probation and banned from all hunting and fishing practices for five years. He also received a five-year ban from the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and a fine of $15,000 in restitution to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
Wildlife officials initially caught wind of Rae back in April 2016. Upon further investigation, they found a buried stockpile of freshly cut elk antlers, but it wouldn't stop there, as they'd ultimately find 15 more, all buried in a similar fashion.
Beginning May 1, officers began monitoring the various areas and ultimately stopped a truck on June 2, which Rae was driving. They found 104 pounds of antlers inside the truck and another 410 pounds worth of antlers in all the other caches.