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Wyoming Family Faces Millions in Fines, Jail Time for Letting Out-of-State Hunters Use Landowner Tags

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October 17, 2011

Wyoming Family Faces Millions in Fines, Jail Time for Letting Out-of-State Hunters Use Landowner Tags

By Chad Love

A Wyoming family could face jail time and millions in fines for allowing out-of-state hunters to illegally take dozens of game animals on their property using landowner tags.

From this story in the Billings Gazette:

Several members of a ranching family near Ten Sleep could face decades of jail time and millions in fines for allegedly allowing out-of-state hunters to tag wildlife with their Wyoming landowner hunting permits, according to a federal indictment. Richard “R.C.” Carter, owner of Big Horn Adventure Outfitters, allegedly took more than a dozen hunters out on his family’s property from 2003 to 2009 to kill elk, deer and antelope. Richard Carter Sr. and Mark Carter — R.C.’s father and younger brother respectively — allegedly used their own tags on the animals shot and falsely claimed in affidavits that they killed them.


R.C. and Mark Carter then helped to transport the animals back to the hunters’ homes in other states in violation of federal law, the indictment alleges. R.C. Carter charged between $3,000 and $7,500 per hunter and/or per hunt for his services, not including tips, according to the indictment. However, the indictment states that Carter occasionally bartered or exchanged guided hunts for advertising, client referrals and guided fishing trips.

The Carters procured so many landowner tags, the indictment states, because in 2004 they subdivided their property into eight 160-acre parcels, so that they and members of their family could receive a landowner elk and antelope license for each parcel. If convicted, R.C. and Mark Carter each could face up to 55 years in prison as well as fines of up to $2,750,000. Richard Carter Sr. could receive up to five years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

Comments (9)

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from jakenbake wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

I think it's pretty obvious these folk aren't going to get the maximum allowable penalty, however I would be VERY interested in the follow-up story when they actually are sentenced. Assuming, of course, they're found guilty. Since, y'know, you're innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not the court of public opinion. Or so they say...

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from derik wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

What a bunch of scumbags

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from wyosportsman wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

There are only a certian number of tags available for that hunt unit. Landowners are guaranteed a tag good for the entire hunt unit (not just their property), and then however many tags that remain after landowner tags are issued are available to the general public through lottery draw. My daughter and I have been unsuccessful in the draw for 10 consecutive years now. Perhaps we would have drawn a tag if these greedy alleged criminals weren't sucking 8 tags out of the pool of available tags every year. No wonder it is so hard for the average Joe to draw an elk tag these days.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

The almighty dollar motive again. I wonder how many others might be doing the same thing and what about the out of staters that paid these people. They had to know it was illegal and ignorance is no excuse. I would like a follow up on this as well.

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from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

I thought this might be an innocent landowner caught in a scam perpetrated by someone else.

But it really sounds like these people were trying to get around the legal system any way they could. There doesn't seem to be a "I didn't know" excuse here.

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from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Herman Cain, Rick Perry etc would just call that "the free market" and decry the regulations that has the family prosecuted for doing it.

Strangely, I do have some empathy for the family. SOME. Not total. I can understand the logic: we have these tags, if we don't use 'em might as well sell them. Selling the tags is not the same as selling the animal, it's "selling access" -- something that people who post their land or who sell "hunting leases" do all the time.

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from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Careful, Mike...Leaning a bit left, aren't we? Personally, I hope they get the book thrown at them!! There was, and IS absolutely NO excuse for this!! They even manipulated the system to get more by 'subdividing' their property!!

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from ishawooa wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Stick it to them Mr. Prosecutor.

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from wyosportsman wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Not Richard Carter Sr's first federal indictment. Do a search and you'll find another one pending where he scammed $5 million.

R.C. Carter would sue for $7500, the price of an elk hunt, if anyone set foot on his property, even unintentionally. The local court dismissed the cases. Now, I realize it is your responsibility to not trespass, even unintentionally, but the point is that he is the type who won't give you a break even if you make an innocent mistake. I hope the judge treats him the same way he treats everyone else.

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from jakenbake wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

I think it's pretty obvious these folk aren't going to get the maximum allowable penalty, however I would be VERY interested in the follow-up story when they actually are sentenced. Assuming, of course, they're found guilty. Since, y'know, you're innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not the court of public opinion. Or so they say...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from derik wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

What a bunch of scumbags

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wyosportsman wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

There are only a certian number of tags available for that hunt unit. Landowners are guaranteed a tag good for the entire hunt unit (not just their property), and then however many tags that remain after landowner tags are issued are available to the general public through lottery draw. My daughter and I have been unsuccessful in the draw for 10 consecutive years now. Perhaps we would have drawn a tag if these greedy alleged criminals weren't sucking 8 tags out of the pool of available tags every year. No wonder it is so hard for the average Joe to draw an elk tag these days.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

The almighty dollar motive again. I wonder how many others might be doing the same thing and what about the out of staters that paid these people. They had to know it was illegal and ignorance is no excuse. I would like a follow up on this as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

I thought this might be an innocent landowner caught in a scam perpetrated by someone else.

But it really sounds like these people were trying to get around the legal system any way they could. There doesn't seem to be a "I didn't know" excuse here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Montanagyrene wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Careful, Mike...Leaning a bit left, aren't we? Personally, I hope they get the book thrown at them!! There was, and IS absolutely NO excuse for this!! They even manipulated the system to get more by 'subdividing' their property!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Stick it to them Mr. Prosecutor.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from wyosportsman wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Not Richard Carter Sr's first federal indictment. Do a search and you'll find another one pending where he scammed $5 million.

R.C. Carter would sue for $7500, the price of an elk hunt, if anyone set foot on his property, even unintentionally. The local court dismissed the cases. Now, I realize it is your responsibility to not trespass, even unintentionally, but the point is that he is the type who won't give you a break even if you make an innocent mistake. I hope the judge treats him the same way he treats everyone else.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 26 weeks ago

Herman Cain, Rick Perry etc would just call that "the free market" and decry the regulations that has the family prosecuted for doing it.

Strangely, I do have some empathy for the family. SOME. Not total. I can understand the logic: we have these tags, if we don't use 'em might as well sell them. Selling the tags is not the same as selling the animal, it's "selling access" -- something that people who post their land or who sell "hunting leases" do all the time.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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