Colorado hunting outfitter indicted on baiting charges
A federal grand jury in Denver has indicted a Colorado hunting outfitter for allegedly placing hundreds of pounds of salt near stands of trees in the White River National Forest to attract deer and elk for out-of-state clients.
The Denver Post reports that outfitter Dennis Rodebaugh, 69, of Meeker, Colo., and guide Brian Kunz, 54, of Augusta, Wis., who worked as a guide for Rodebaugh, are charged with 10 felony counts of conspiracy and of violating the Lacey Act.
Each of the 10 felony counts carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and, under the Lacey Act, vehicles and equipment used in the commission of the crimes are forfeited.
The indictment alleges that Rodebaugh, who operated D&S Guide and Outfitter, offered multi-day hunts into the White River National Forest, and that each year between 2002 and 2007 Rodebaugh and Kunz guided clients to areas near which they had placed hundreds of pounds of salt to entice deer and elk.
The Lacey Act bans interstate sale of big game outfitting and guiding services that utilize bait. Colorado also prohibits baiting when big game hunting.
"With this year's archery season about to start, this indictment serves as an important reminder that there are criminal consequences for illegal baiting," U.S. Atty. John Walsh said in a release. "Violations of this kind are the theft of a public resource for commercial gain."
-- Kelly Burgess