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Lifetime hunting ban for California resident guilty of poaching

A bull elk makes its high-pitched mating call.  

A man who pleaded guilty to poaching a bull elk received a stiff penalty for his actions, including being banned for life from hunting and fishing in 31 states.

Ronald Ray Jurin, from Redding, was ordered to pay $50,000 in fines and penalties and sentenced to three years of federal probation for killing the male elk in Oregon.

Jurin also agreed to a lifetime ban on his hunting or fishing in Oregon.

While the ban may not seem that harsh on its own, Oregon is a member of the 31-state Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, an agreement that recognizes suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in member states. Thus Jurin is also barred elsewhere in the nation, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Utah.

Federal prosecutors said that Jurin pleaded guilty to a felony violation of the Lacey Act, the federal wildlife protection law under which it is illegal to import, export, acquire or transport wildlife taken in violation of the law.

Jurin killed the trophy-sized elk without a tag authorizing him to hunt the area, and also admitted in federal court to committing prior illegal hunting activities.

Video image of trophy elk shot by Jurin (who is not in the photo).

"Poaching is cowardly, disrupts wildlife management, and is unfair to real hunters," said United States Attorney Karin J. Immergut. "We mean business when it comes to enforcing wildlife statutes."

If caught hunting in the future, he risks further fines and possible imprisonment.

"Mr. Jurin is banned from purchasing a license in any of the compact states," said Joan Jewett, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Pacific Region Public Affairs Chief. "The key here is that he can't buy a license, so if he's caught hunting, he is breaking the law."

"And of course, he is a convicted felon, so if he's caught hunting with a firearm ever again he could potentially be charged, which would be a new federal felony offense," Jewett added.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photos: (top) A bull elk makes its high-pitched mating call. Credit: Associated Press

(bottom) Video image of trophy elk shot by Jurin (who is not in the photo). Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Comments (10)

I am a bit confused.

If I'm understanding this article correctly, the difference between this being a completely legal (if inelegant), and being an inexcusable felony punishable by a $50,000 fine & lifetime ban, is the lack of a $34.50 deer hunting license?

Isn't this more like the guy not putting money in the meter? I mean, society clearly has no problem with hunting.

So why is this an outrage?

Hunting has a lot to do with owning guns. It's the most responsible reason to own a gun. Still, this guy was an idiot. I, personally, find trophy hunters to be scumbags. Eat what you kill.

the law can make it a misdemeanor or felony with a $100,000 max fine and 1 year in jail minimum penalty (felony increases the penalty max.). He got 3 years probation (probation is typical for first time offender) and $50,000 fine. I think the penalty is acceptable considering he's a first time offender even though he admitted to doing past illegal activity (but it sounds like he was forthright with answering questions meaning he is working with the prosecutor). The fine is quite stiff considering the times we are in, and he's now a convicted felon. I'm not sure that sending someone to jail is the best solution. If he still has a job, hopefully he can still keep it now that he's a felon. Going to jail then being released as a convicted felon is a great way to encourage further illegal activity since our system is so harsh on convicted felons.

personally, I'd like to see him forced to work in an anti-poaching unit doing grunt work so he can learn what it means to poach and the consequences for the animals. Education is the best solution, usually.


I agree, this is not an issue of gun ownership, this is an issue of breaking the law. I am a hunter/fisherman in the state of california and I am ashamed by this persons actions and Iam happy that he will no longer by able to take another animal.

That's a stupid comment. I am a vegetarian gun owner. Hunting has nothing to do with owning guns.

"Another responsible gun owner. The NRA should be proud." - Ed Lowder

Do you also blame the AAA when someone gets a DUI or a speeding ticket? According to MADD, 1 in every 139 licensed drivers in the United States was arrested for DUI in 2006 - nearly 1.46 million that year alone.

i totally agree with fleabell. people need to take environmental regulations seriously and should be punished more severely.

Another responsible gun owner. The NRA should be proud.

This is a total cowardly act by the justice system by not sending this scumbag to jail for a year. He's a poacher for crying out loud! Rules and regulations obviously mean nothing to him and thus having a license is of no importance to him whatsoever. He will continue to poach game thus acclerating the rate at which species diminish. If the judge had any balls, he would have sentenced him to jail and then the promised that if ever caught with a hunting rifle again, would be forced to play on America's latest justice realty game - When the Hunter is the Hunted - where he is given a rubber knife, wet matches, and a 1 hour head start and then pursued by a dozen rabid armed bounty hunters. THATs justice.

cool, the government is finally enforcing laws that protect the environment


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.