Poachers Sentenced for Killing Deer on US Army Artillery Range

Three poacher were sentences for trespassing on a military installation and taking trophy class whitetail in the impact area of artillery range.

According to a Facebook post by Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, Gregory J. Frikken, James C. Nunley, and Michael J. Smith were sentenced after a multi-month investigation stemming from a case from 2019.

The end and conclusion to a multi-month investigation involving Fort Riley Game Wardens and Kansas Game Wardens. The press release (link below) was just put out yesterday by the DOJ, US Attorney’s Office. The case took place in 2019 and was wrapped up in 2020. Multiple subjects from multiple states and jurisdictions mostly dealing with criminal trespassing on the Impact Area at Fort Riley. The reason why nobody is allowed in the Impact Area is for safety concerns due to the possibility of live unexploded ordinances on the area. The investigation involved multiple misrepresentations to obtain licenses and permits outside of Fort Riley; the seizure of deer and elk antlers, and mounts; hunting equipment; and stolen federal property. Click on the link below for additional information concerning sentencing imposed on the suspects. Great teamwork!

Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism via Facebook

Details of the case indicated by a brief from the Department of Justice outline how the men accessed the base before daylight and leaving after dark through a washout where a creek went under a perimeter fence.

The men would spend the day hunting the impact area of the artillery range. Where they eight whitetail bucks, three of which are considered trophy class.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale sentenced the three hunters to pay approximately $11,000 in restitution to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and $10,000 in fines to the Lacey Act fund. Additionally, the hunters will have no hunting privileges for three years and agree to forfeit all property seized as part of the investigation.

“These hunters entered an area of Fort Riley which is off limits and not open for hunting”, said U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister. “They entered a prohibited area of the Army base, knowing the area was off limits, for the sole purpose of illegally taking large deer as trophies. Their behavior was not only unlawful and selfish, it was potentially dangerous to themselves and thus also foolish. Trespassing on a federal military base is a serious error of judgment, and unlawfully killing trophy deer undermines hunting and hunters who abide by the rules.” 

The military trains all year round, these guys had to be in the stand while units were firing into impact area. It is amazing they were not hurt while poaching.