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Lifetime hunting ban for California resident guilty of poaching

April 21, 2009 |  3:55 pm

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