A Colorado man received a lifetime hunting ban along with other penalties after pleading guilty for a kill spree of 12 deer, 2 turkeys and a bighorn sheep ram.
According to the Associated Press, Colorado Parks and Wildlife permanently suspended the hunting rights of Iniki Vike Kapu after he pled guilty to poaching charges in three Colorado counties. Since Colorado is part of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, Kapu will also lose hunting privileges in 47 other states. (Hawaii and Massachusetts are the only states not part of the compact.)
Kapu plead guilty to killing 12 deer, 2 turkeys, and a bighorn sheep ram for which he was sentenced in three different county courts to around $6000 in fines and six months in jail plus the forfeiture of the weapons used in the poaching incidents.
“Mr. Kapu’s crimes against wildlife are the essence of what defines a poacher by taking wildlife without regard for the laws protecting them,” Stephen Cooley, the hearing examiner, said. “Iniki Kapu is viewed as a serious threat to Colorado’s wildlife, and his violations are among the worst. The severity and level of indifference for wildlife, in this case, are rarely seen and cannot be tolerated.”
Kapu now has 35 days to appeal the CPW’s decision. Since his lawyer was a public defender and is not allowed to comment on cases it is not know is he plans on appealing.
Frank McGee, an agency wildlife manager in Colorado Springs, said this should be a warning to anyone considering poaching in the state.
“Colorado Parks and Wildlife aggressively pursues anyone who illegally takes wildlife. When you poach, you are stealing from all residents of Colorado,” he said. “And your acts are an insult to all the hunters who follow the rules, who buy the licenses that pay for wildlife management, who respect the hunting seasons and abide by principles of fair chase.”