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Elk Poaching Case Nets Nearly $40,000 in Fines & Restitution from Poachers

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

GLASGOW, Mont. --(Ammoland.com)- A multi-year investigation into the illegal killing of elk in southern Phillips County has resulted in criminal convictions for 11 resident and nonresident hunters.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Criminal Investigator Lennie Buhmann, a total of $37,300 in fines and restitution has been collected in the case, which involves defendants from Columbus and Shepherd, Mont., and South Dakota, Utah and Arizona.

Eight of the 11 defendants also lost a total 22 years of hunting, fishing and trapping privileges in the 36 states involved in the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

“The case involved a group of hunters from the Billings area, South Dakota, Utah and Arizona who hunted south Phillips County from 2000 to 2009, killing elk without licenses and valid permits while loaning licenses to those in the hunting party who did not have them,” Buhmann said.

“When the hunters were confronted about their violations, most of them were honest and owned up to what they had been doing for almost a decade.”

The three-year-long investigation resulted in two search warrants being served on a hunting camp/lodge in southern Phillips County and a residence in Yellowstone County. Defendant interviews were conducted by the FWP Region 6 Enforcement team and officers from the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks.

“Without the help of the officers in South Dakota, successful prosecution of this case would not have been possible,” Buhmann said.

In all, 11 unlawfully killed bull elk were recovered. Two of the bulls were trophy class, which resulted in $8,000 in restitution being charged for each. Another animal, a cow elk, was also unlawfully killed but was not recovered.

The defendants, who were primarily prosecuted in Phillips County Justice Court, include:

  • Donald Ray Keever, 54, of Shepherd, Mont. Charged with four misdemeanor counts of possessing unlawfully killed bull elk and two counts of loaning an elk license to another person. Fined $1,910, paid $8,500 in restitution, and lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for eight years.
  • Howard F. Keever, 63, of Columbus, Mont. Charged with two counts of possessing an unlawfully killed bull elk; one count of using two-way communications to hunt; and one count of loaning an elk license to another person. Paid $1,405 in fines and lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years.
  • Ben L. Krogman, 58, of White River, S.D. Charged with six counts of killing bull elk without a valid license and two counts of loaning an elk license to another person. Fined $3,680, paid $6,000 in restitution, and lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years
  • Dan L. Krogman, 57, of White River, S.D. Charged with three counts of possessing unlawfully killed bull elk; one count of loaning an elk license to another person; and one count of fishing without a valid license. Paid $1,575 in fines and $10 in restitution for an illegally caught northern pike. He lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years.
  • Arnold E. Hill, 61, of White River, S.D. Charged with one count of possessing an unlawfully killed bull elk; two counts of hunting bull elk without a valid license; and one count of using two-way communications to hunt. Fined $1,740, paid $8,000 in restitution, and lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years.
  • Casey G. Krogman, 58, of White River, S.D. Charged with one count of hunting a bull elk without a valid license. Fined $535.
  • Carl L. Murra, 63, of Renner, S.D. Charged with one count of possessing an unlawfully killed bull elk. Fined $535 and lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years.
  • Al E. Kuehl, 58, of Brandon, S.D. Charged with one count of possessing an unlawfully killed bull elk and one count of killing a bull elk without a valid license. Fined $1,070, paid $1,000 in restitution, and lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years.
  • Tate Bouman, age unavailable, of Spearfish, S.D. Charged with one count of possessing an unlawfully killed bull elk. Paid $135 fine.
  • Joshua L. Fisher, 29, of Winslow, AZ. Charged with one count of possessing an unlawfully killed bull elk. Fined $535 and the charge was then dismissed by then-Phillips County Justice of the Peace Gayle Stahl.
  • Kelly J. Keever, 29, of Vernal, Utah. Charged with one count of possessing an unlawfully killed bull elk and one count of using two-way communications to hunt. Fined $670 and lost hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for two years.
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  • One User comment to “Elk Poaching Case Nets Nearly $40,000 in Fines & Restitution from Poachers”

    1. Cari Wagner on February 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM said:

      Al E. Kuehl is a scam artist.

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