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Hunting Show Personality Fined for Poaching Kansas Buck

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November 29, 2012

Hunting Show Personality Fined for Poaching Kansas Buck

By Chad Love

A TV hunting "personality" has pleaded guilty to illegally taking a Kansas buck in 2007.

From this story on kansascity.com
A professional hunter from Tennessee pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing a deer in Kansas and illegally taking it across state lines. William Spann, 50, of Dickson, Tenn., admitted in his plea in Kansas federal court that he had violated state law in 2007 by killing the white-tail deer on land in Stafford County owned by another person, when his permit allowed him to hunt only on land that he owned. He then took the antlers to Tennessee, according to allegations in court records.

According to the story, Spann will receive three years probation, a six-month suspension of his hunting privileges in the United States, six more months ban from hunting in Kansas, a $10,000 fine as well as $10,000 restitution to the Kansas wildlife department. Thoughts? Punishment fit the crime?

Comments (42)

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Spook was in my neck of the woods a few weeks back hunting with a buddy of mine. It is my understanding Spook is a very nice and personable person.

Spook did not trespass. He owned a lease to the property he killed the deer on. His mistake was thinking his landowner tag was good on his hunting lease.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Not a "mistake." Anyone living during the last thousand years with half a brain would know the difference between owning and leasing land. Personally, I don't approve of hunting leases or landowner tags. That system of "hunting" the public's game is an abomination. Ironic that a game hog would be caught up violating the very regulations intended to meet his objectives.

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from hhack wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sounds like a money shakedown, but I don't buy the story that he made an honest mistake.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

It's eye opening to me that Kansas is on the European system. Score one more point for good old PA.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'm a little concerned that Spook continues to have a problem admitting responsibility.

His recent Facebook post:

"Hey Spook Nation - I wanted to personally let you know that today the court determined I purchased the wrong license back in 2007. Therefore, I accepted the misdemeanor attached to that.

I owned two pieces of property in Kansas, and the property I harvested the deer on was the property I was leasing and eventually purchased.

Make sure you know what license you need when hunting, and keep sending in your awesome pictures from this year's season.

-Spook"

So what's wrong with the post? Well, the Court didn't "determine" anything. He plead guilty when faced with a felony Lacey Act violation, after reviewing the US Attorney's proof. And knowing that a felony conviction means goodbye gun possession.

This attempt to minimize his conduct and to suggest that this was an innocent mistake, there but the grace of God go I, is inaccurate.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This is at least the second hunting "celebrity" who's gotten himself jammed up with a criminal charge in recent years. Remember Nugent's black bear?

This is unacceptable conduct that hurts us all.

Obsessions do bad things to otherwise honest men. You might not get the same television viewership shooting a 6 point than a Kansas monster, but hornporn loses sight of what's important and makes sportsmen more dangerous and more disliked by the antis.

Be smart in the woods and honest in the field. You're a sportsmen. Thoreau had it right: "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This is at least the second hunting "celebrity" who's gotten himself jammed up with a criminal charge in recent years. Remember Nugent's black bear?

This is unacceptable conduct that hurts us all.

Obsessions do bad things to otherwise honest men. You might not get the same television viewership shooting a 6 point than a Kansas monster, but hornporn loses sight of what's important and makes sportsmen more dangerous and more disliked by the antis.

Be smart in the woods and honest in the field. You're a sportsmen. Thoreau had it right: "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I believe the fine is acceptable but he needed to loose his ability to hunt for longer than 6 months and for more then one state. He should loose sponsorships because of this. We, as sportsman, should not tolerate this kind of reckless diregard for the law. There is no such thing as an honest mistake. It is his responsiblity to know the laws of the state he is hunting in. It is his responsibility to know what license her purchased. He should have been convicted of the felony so we wouldn't have to worry about him doing this again in the future. I am sure he will make a similar "honest" mistake in the future, it's just a matter of time...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from stickngar21 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

It amazes me that someone could get this much punishment for something that he more than likely didn't realize he was doing when we are allowed to have an abortion and kill our children with no penalty. I'm not saying what he did was right by any means, but you know America doesn't have our priority's straight when we're putting animals over human beings.

-3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Typical celebrity feeling they can do anything they want because they're famous in their own mind. Then when they're caught red handed they go right to the "I didn't know! excuse" B.S. you knew better, just think you're better than everyone else because of your ego status.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

His show must stink like rotten eggs because I've never heard of this joker.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Isn't Kansas part of the interstate criminal network for poaching? Shouldn't he lose all hunting rights in each state like anyone else? If so, why isn't he?

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from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Hi...

The post says he is a "professional hunter". Wouldn't anyone so-called know better?

And, he DID plead guilty... not only to taking it illegally, but to illegally taking it across State lines...!!

Perhaps the Courts were a bit lenient on the probation and hunting privileges part of his 'punishment'...??

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

It amazes me that these "professional hunters" have a problem accempting the blame for violating the law. They seem to always blame the system and the state for what they did wrong. I shouldn't be surprised I heard these same lame excuses for 35+ years as I was writing citations for people violating the laws. The way I see it it isn't the state's fault it is the person's fault who violated the law. No one wants to take the blame for there actions anymore they want to blame someone else. They need to take one of my courses on hunter ethics ,right 007.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from LFS 10 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

are you serious stickngar21? This article is about a professional who either didn't do the required research or decided to completely ignore the law. To try and associate other social issues with this situation is irresponsible on your part.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Angus wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I believe the fine is adequate, but as a professional hunter he should know to double-check the hunting regulations for where he is hunting. In response to Ontario, as a farmer who essentially feeds wildlife year-round by simply growing the main food sources for certain species of wildlife, deer included, I think that the KDWP (Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks), aught to issue a certain number of deer tags to each landowner, the number of tags determined by the number of acres owned, or at least discount tags to 5-10 dollars for land-owners. I believe that it is a rip-off forcing the people who feed the wildlife to pay the full price for tags. Anybody agree with the idea?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from boof wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

They should take the deer away.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from stickngar21 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

LFS 10 I apologize. It might not be the right time or place to make that correlation, but it just gets on my last nerve to think we get so serious about killing a deer when we can kill kids and nothing is wrong with it. However, I don't know much about the situation itself so I'll just mind my own business.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Cody Duncan wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I agree with stickngar so much effort goes into finding hunters in the wrong...I do believe in a quota system for controlling the population but the rules on where and how it is done is ridiculous to me...God gave man power over animals. Land that is private should be kept private if you paid to own that land...but a guy who is paying to hunt a piece of property and doesn't have the right paperwork - thats the system... why have so many license? archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, rifle, land owners, leasing, disabled, veterans, out of state etc they make it so confusing and then write a book that is an inch thick of rules...does it really have to be that serious. To me it should be more simplified - find a place to hunt, get written permission, buy ONE license / ONE TAG, kill a deer, pay taxes on that deer when checking harvest, but another TAG keep going until quota or season is over.

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from Bgpike wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'm from stafford county and the sad thing is I'm pretty sure I know whose land he was on and that person who owns the land is a known poacher. Other big name country celebreties come hunting with him and most of them get their deer illegally. This guys fines shoulda been much harsher. I'm tired of poachers getting the big bucks instead of us locals

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This sickens me, I find myself not watching hunting shows any more except for On your own. They all seem fake and full of BS. i don't wanna watch some guy sit for a second and then shoot a monster buck. hunting professional my rear end.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

And whoa stickngar where did that correlation come from way way way left field. abortion is a hot button issue with both sides having good points. wild life management is a little easier, follow the rules DON'T POACH!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dale Reisert wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Just another so called Professional Hunting Celebrity getting caught with his pants down.

It seems Anyone who owns a huge farm in prime deer hunting Country is now a Hunting Professional or Hunting Celebrity, give us all a break we could all shoot monster deer if we where in their shoes.

If they tried to hunt where most of us hunt they would be eating TAG soup every year.

I have hunted almost all of the Mid-Western states and some of the places I have hunted you could probably shoot a Pope and Young Buck almost everyday, so please give us regular hunter a break, they are shooting great bucks not becasue they are great hunters but because they hunt where great Bucks live.You cannot Kill them if they are not there!

Remember Kelly Cooper? Remember Noel Feather both greedy so called professional hunters who got caught poaching deer!

They should take away Spooks hunting rights for life for giving the rest of us a BAD name.

seawolf

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Shootstir wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Does he still have his job on the hunting show? Seems to me he should be shown the door as well as the other suggestions offered here. What good is a law, if we continue to simply slap a wrist here and there? Let's get serious about sentencing and punishment. This guy didn't screw it up just for one person- he put a black eye on an entire generation of hunters and sportsmen and women.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Robert T. Homlar wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Spann knew E-X-A-C-T-L-Y what he was doing. He just thought he wouldn't get caught. He knew what deer he wanted, where it was and how to get it (though illegally).

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from kwackr wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Another reason I dispise people making killing animals a "profession"... 6 months is a joke. 2 years would have been more appropriate. i just hope people wise up and force him to get a real job.

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from kwackr wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Another reason I dispise people making killing animals a "profession"... 6 months is a joke. 2 years would have been more appropriate. i just hope people wise up and force him to get a real job.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Here in Missouri, an out-of-state property owner does not qualify for a landowner deer tag. They must pay the same rate as any other out-of-state hunter, about $250. As far as being called a "professional", BASS founder Ray Scott defined a "tournamet professional" as "Someone with $400 in his jeans and the week off.

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from David Ward wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

i only watch two shows now: On Your Own Adventures, and Best & Worst of Tred Barta, because both men still haunt the hard way, and with ethics.

Most "hunting" shows now are just "killing" shows. No woodsmanship at all. Use an outfitter, hang a stand, grab a camera, and kill.

Thats not hunting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Apex Plumbing wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I don't see the big deal. You mean all he had to do to make this right was simply purchase the correct license? If that's the case then it sounds like big government is the problem. There should be no difference just sell me a damn hunting license so I can kill a deer. Next it will be oh your license only covers a buck up to 125 class or smaller when the wind is blowing out of the NNW, you should have bought the next license that cost more if you want to shoot a bigger buck on any given wind......

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from lineman309 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I agree with apex. This is no big deal. Hunting regs are too complicated. People get away with stuff like this all the time (usually unknowingly). However, when a hunting celeb kills a trophy, every little detail is checked. From the sound of most posts, i think most people are jealous. If they cant kill a trophy, then they dont want any one to. Especially a pro hunter. He must have done something wrong! He couldnt be a better than me! also, Walt Smith, his show is pretty damn good in my opinion, and if you dont know who spook spann is, you shouldnt even be allowed to post on this blog because you obviously dont follow hunting enough to make an educated comment.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Apex, it isn't that simple. At the time he wanted to get a tag to shoot this buck none were available to out of staters. So he buys a chunk of land and goes hunting on someone else's place with his landowner's tag. I hope this guy goes broke. The fine certainly is not going to do it (he owns Spook Nation game farms all over the country) but maybe the bad publicity will. Probably not because all the antler junkies just want to make excuses for him. I doubt the court could have fined him any more for this offense without risking an appeal. Unfortunately, fines cannot be geared to one's ability to pay or not pay. It's supposed to be uniform. The hunting suspension was, however, clearly rigged in his favor. There is no hunting for the next six months anyway unless he wants to go to South America or Africa!

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from elkster42 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Game rules and regulations are set to protect the resource we love to pursue. Although we might not agree with or understand why certain rules are enacted we are bound by law to obey them. Every state issues a complete listing of all regulations and it is our responsibility to know them and adhere to them. It does not matter if you're a so-called "professional" hunter or Mr. Average hunter it is our responsibility to know EVERY rule that applies to where we hunt, what we hunt and how we hunt. People like Mr. Spahn who spend full time on hunting as a business have no excuse for not knowing every little detail of the game laws.

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

never heard of this guy. never heard of most of the so called hunting professionals. when people start talking about antler scores my eyes glaze over and i just nod my head cause i have no idea what they are talking about. i couldn't even begin scoring the 2 bucks we got this year at hunting camp. guess i'm not much of a hunter....

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from Egrill wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Not a big deal. Fine him and move on. People make mistakes. This was a mistake, and punishment, although way too harsh, was served. Last year I forgot to tag one of my late season deer prior to moving it and checking the deer. I'm sleeping just fine.

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from honda84 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

everything outdoors is becoming a pay to play game and most states are all over it. tax the number of points on the buck, tax the kid with the kayak, you walk out in your own backyard and you need an access sticker for accessing the outdoors, buy a 4 wheeler to go for a ride, hold on buster you need an orv sticker and you cant ride it anywhere legally except maybe on your own property but if you dont wear a helmet your gonna get a ticket anyways. i see the way of the future here and its not pretty. in simple terms those with the bucks get the bucks. i, of course, believe if he was in violation that he should loose the deer and his weapon and loss of hunting for at least 2 yrs. these guys do know exactly what they're doing, most have scouting cam photos of every deer on that parcel well in advance of season start. they pick and choose which properties in which states they want to pursue and what tags they need to buy. so is the way of the wealthy head hunters and its ruining our favorite sport. eat what you kill!

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from jkontras wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Egrill,

I agree. As hunters, we all make mistakes. If anyone can honestly say that they have never committed any sort of violation while hunting, they probably have limited time in the woods.With the way states are now regulating their hunters, it would almost be impossible to memorize all the laws, violations, and rules each state has. Every year states keep adding and adding laws to tighten the ropes on "poachers". Spann seems like a good guy to me, just not perfect. Lets not bash one of our own.Lets face it, there is a good chance Spann could out hunt the majority of the people that are posting on this site.I watched Spann shoot a 230 inch non-typical with his bow while being filmed.Unless you have done that, then you have no room to talk. Still the biggest fair chase buck shot on camera!

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from Carlton Fuqua wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

The Law is the law of "we the people". It didn't get on the books by accident. We can change the laws but it's very difficult, it better to pay attention and keep out the bad ones in the first place or just plan on loosing one more freedom. In this case poaching by any stretch of the imagination is not a freedom lost.

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from Carl D Black Jr wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I believe it was a honest mistake on his part and he took the road to hunt in the future. It's funny how people make GIANT deal out of the taking of whitetail deer and largemouth bass. I read an article a while back about a guy who caught 200 panfish over the limit. 3 COMMENTS!!! It's not like the guy killed several or tried to cover it up. This just sounds like jealousy. Whitetails and largemouths are not gods!

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

After reading most of the posts now I get the drift. I wasted over 35 years enforcing wildlife laws to protect our natural resources. After all the states laws are way to complicated to know what the law is and so we shouldn't have to bother to find out what the law is. A lot of people here seem to think that this guy is a good old boy and a good hunter so it is okay with what he did. He got caught this time but maybe the next time he will get away with it and it will be okay and you can watch him kill a big buck on his TV show. I used to try to convince my Father that something was an honest mistake but as he was whipping my a## he said there wasn't any such thing as an "honest" mistake. A mistake was a mistake. As someone said earlier people lose sight of why laws and regulations are made in the first place. They are made to protect the resource that we hunt and fish and to insure that we have a supply to hunt for and fish for in the future.

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from ox1_2000 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I am sure it has been said here already but I will say it again. It is the sole responsiblity of the hunter to ensure he or she is following the laws of the state he or she is hunting in. There is no excuse for not knowing the rules. I don't care what the circumstances.

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from ShooterMcJJ wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

They went overboard on the punishment. $20K f'ing dollars altogether in civil money penalties for poaching a deer??? That is complete and utter bullshit. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that poaching should be prohibited because our population far exceeds the available wild game throughout the country. It's no longer the late 1700's where Dan'l Boone is hunting stag to feed him family. Poachers should indeed be punished, but this moron is being punished more than other people who have committed far more serious crimes. Punishment should fit the crime. One f'ing deer is not worth $20K. The government imposed civil fines can be and are often abusive. You have government employees who suddenly realize they have this certain amount of power to impose their will on others and they go overboard because they're consumed with this power that their lack of education or other skills would never have allowed them to achieve in the private sector. If it were me I would appeal these fines as cruel punishment...no unusual... but overly cruel because there is no way that the deer population was harmed to the tune of $20K or the state was harmed that amount of money at the time the deer was poached.

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from LFS 10 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

are you serious stickngar21? This article is about a professional who either didn't do the required research or decided to completely ignore the law. To try and associate other social issues with this situation is irresponsible on your part.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This sickens me, I find myself not watching hunting shows any more except for On your own. They all seem fake and full of BS. i don't wanna watch some guy sit for a second and then shoot a monster buck. hunting professional my rear end.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'm a little concerned that Spook continues to have a problem admitting responsibility.

His recent Facebook post:

"Hey Spook Nation - I wanted to personally let you know that today the court determined I purchased the wrong license back in 2007. Therefore, I accepted the misdemeanor attached to that.

I owned two pieces of property in Kansas, and the property I harvested the deer on was the property I was leasing and eventually purchased.

Make sure you know what license you need when hunting, and keep sending in your awesome pictures from this year's season.

-Spook"

So what's wrong with the post? Well, the Court didn't "determine" anything. He plead guilty when faced with a felony Lacey Act violation, after reviewing the US Attorney's proof. And knowing that a felony conviction means goodbye gun possession.

This attempt to minimize his conduct and to suggest that this was an innocent mistake, there but the grace of God go I, is inaccurate.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This is at least the second hunting "celebrity" who's gotten himself jammed up with a criminal charge in recent years. Remember Nugent's black bear?

This is unacceptable conduct that hurts us all.

Obsessions do bad things to otherwise honest men. You might not get the same television viewership shooting a 6 point than a Kansas monster, but hornporn loses sight of what's important and makes sportsmen more dangerous and more disliked by the antis.

Be smart in the woods and honest in the field. You're a sportsmen. Thoreau had it right: "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dale Reisert wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Just another so called Professional Hunting Celebrity getting caught with his pants down.

It seems Anyone who owns a huge farm in prime deer hunting Country is now a Hunting Professional or Hunting Celebrity, give us all a break we could all shoot monster deer if we where in their shoes.

If they tried to hunt where most of us hunt they would be eating TAG soup every year.

I have hunted almost all of the Mid-Western states and some of the places I have hunted you could probably shoot a Pope and Young Buck almost everyday, so please give us regular hunter a break, they are shooting great bucks not becasue they are great hunters but because they hunt where great Bucks live.You cannot Kill them if they are not there!

Remember Kelly Cooper? Remember Noel Feather both greedy so called professional hunters who got caught poaching deer!

They should take away Spooks hunting rights for life for giving the rest of us a BAD name.

seawolf

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

After reading most of the posts now I get the drift. I wasted over 35 years enforcing wildlife laws to protect our natural resources. After all the states laws are way to complicated to know what the law is and so we shouldn't have to bother to find out what the law is. A lot of people here seem to think that this guy is a good old boy and a good hunter so it is okay with what he did. He got caught this time but maybe the next time he will get away with it and it will be okay and you can watch him kill a big buck on his TV show. I used to try to convince my Father that something was an honest mistake but as he was whipping my a## he said there wasn't any such thing as an "honest" mistake. A mistake was a mistake. As someone said earlier people lose sight of why laws and regulations are made in the first place. They are made to protect the resource that we hunt and fish and to insure that we have a supply to hunt for and fish for in the future.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Red Angus wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I believe the fine is adequate, but as a professional hunter he should know to double-check the hunting regulations for where he is hunting. In response to Ontario, as a farmer who essentially feeds wildlife year-round by simply growing the main food sources for certain species of wildlife, deer included, I think that the KDWP (Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks), aught to issue a certain number of deer tags to each landowner, the number of tags determined by the number of acres owned, or at least discount tags to 5-10 dollars for land-owners. I believe that it is a rip-off forcing the people who feed the wildlife to pay the full price for tags. Anybody agree with the idea?

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bgpike wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'm from stafford county and the sad thing is I'm pretty sure I know whose land he was on and that person who owns the land is a known poacher. Other big name country celebreties come hunting with him and most of them get their deer illegally. This guys fines shoulda been much harsher. I'm tired of poachers getting the big bucks instead of us locals

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

This is at least the second hunting "celebrity" who's gotten himself jammed up with a criminal charge in recent years. Remember Nugent's black bear?

This is unacceptable conduct that hurts us all.

Obsessions do bad things to otherwise honest men. You might not get the same television viewership shooting a 6 point than a Kansas monster, but hornporn loses sight of what's important and makes sportsmen more dangerous and more disliked by the antis.

Be smart in the woods and honest in the field. You're a sportsmen. Thoreau had it right: "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after."

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I believe the fine is acceptable but he needed to loose his ability to hunt for longer than 6 months and for more then one state. He should loose sponsorships because of this. We, as sportsman, should not tolerate this kind of reckless diregard for the law. There is no such thing as an honest mistake. It is his responsiblity to know the laws of the state he is hunting in. It is his responsibility to know what license her purchased. He should have been convicted of the felony so we wouldn't have to worry about him doing this again in the future. I am sure he will make a similar "honest" mistake in the future, it's just a matter of time...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Typical celebrity feeling they can do anything they want because they're famous in their own mind. Then when they're caught red handed they go right to the "I didn't know! excuse" B.S. you knew better, just think you're better than everyone else because of your ego status.

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from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

His show must stink like rotten eggs because I've never heard of this joker.

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from Pathfinder1 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Hi...

The post says he is a "professional hunter". Wouldn't anyone so-called know better?

And, he DID plead guilty... not only to taking it illegally, but to illegally taking it across State lines...!!

Perhaps the Courts were a bit lenient on the probation and hunting privileges part of his 'punishment'...??

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

It amazes me that these "professional hunters" have a problem accempting the blame for violating the law. They seem to always blame the system and the state for what they did wrong. I shouldn't be surprised I heard these same lame excuses for 35+ years as I was writing citations for people violating the laws. The way I see it it isn't the state's fault it is the person's fault who violated the law. No one wants to take the blame for there actions anymore they want to blame someone else. They need to take one of my courses on hunter ethics ,right 007.

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from boof wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

They should take the deer away.

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from David Ward wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

i only watch two shows now: On Your Own Adventures, and Best & Worst of Tred Barta, because both men still haunt the hard way, and with ethics.

Most "hunting" shows now are just "killing" shows. No woodsmanship at all. Use an outfitter, hang a stand, grab a camera, and kill.

Thats not hunting.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

It's eye opening to me that Kansas is on the European system. Score one more point for good old PA.

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from 357 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

And whoa stickngar where did that correlation come from way way way left field. abortion is a hot button issue with both sides having good points. wild life management is a little easier, follow the rules DON'T POACH!

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from Shootstir wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Does he still have his job on the hunting show? Seems to me he should be shown the door as well as the other suggestions offered here. What good is a law, if we continue to simply slap a wrist here and there? Let's get serious about sentencing and punishment. This guy didn't screw it up just for one person- he put a black eye on an entire generation of hunters and sportsmen and women.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Spook was in my neck of the woods a few weeks back hunting with a buddy of mine. It is my understanding Spook is a very nice and personable person.

Spook did not trespass. He owned a lease to the property he killed the deer on. His mistake was thinking his landowner tag was good on his hunting lease.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Not a "mistake." Anyone living during the last thousand years with half a brain would know the difference between owning and leasing land. Personally, I don't approve of hunting leases or landowner tags. That system of "hunting" the public's game is an abomination. Ironic that a game hog would be caught up violating the very regulations intended to meet his objectives.

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from hhack wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Sounds like a money shakedown, but I don't buy the story that he made an honest mistake.

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from Walt Smith wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Isn't Kansas part of the interstate criminal network for poaching? Shouldn't he lose all hunting rights in each state like anyone else? If so, why isn't he?

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from Robert T. Homlar wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Spann knew E-X-A-C-T-L-Y what he was doing. He just thought he wouldn't get caught. He knew what deer he wanted, where it was and how to get it (though illegally).

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from kwackr wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Another reason I dispise people making killing animals a "profession"... 6 months is a joke. 2 years would have been more appropriate. i just hope people wise up and force him to get a real job.

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from kwackr wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Another reason I dispise people making killing animals a "profession"... 6 months is a joke. 2 years would have been more appropriate. i just hope people wise up and force him to get a real job.

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from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Here in Missouri, an out-of-state property owner does not qualify for a landowner deer tag. They must pay the same rate as any other out-of-state hunter, about $250. As far as being called a "professional", BASS founder Ray Scott defined a "tournamet professional" as "Someone with $400 in his jeans and the week off.

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from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Apex, it isn't that simple. At the time he wanted to get a tag to shoot this buck none were available to out of staters. So he buys a chunk of land and goes hunting on someone else's place with his landowner's tag. I hope this guy goes broke. The fine certainly is not going to do it (he owns Spook Nation game farms all over the country) but maybe the bad publicity will. Probably not because all the antler junkies just want to make excuses for him. I doubt the court could have fined him any more for this offense without risking an appeal. Unfortunately, fines cannot be geared to one's ability to pay or not pay. It's supposed to be uniform. The hunting suspension was, however, clearly rigged in his favor. There is no hunting for the next six months anyway unless he wants to go to South America or Africa!

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from elkster42 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Game rules and regulations are set to protect the resource we love to pursue. Although we might not agree with or understand why certain rules are enacted we are bound by law to obey them. Every state issues a complete listing of all regulations and it is our responsibility to know them and adhere to them. It does not matter if you're a so-called "professional" hunter or Mr. Average hunter it is our responsibility to know EVERY rule that applies to where we hunt, what we hunt and how we hunt. People like Mr. Spahn who spend full time on hunting as a business have no excuse for not knowing every little detail of the game laws.

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from wisc14 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

never heard of this guy. never heard of most of the so called hunting professionals. when people start talking about antler scores my eyes glaze over and i just nod my head cause i have no idea what they are talking about. i couldn't even begin scoring the 2 bucks we got this year at hunting camp. guess i'm not much of a hunter....

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from Egrill wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Not a big deal. Fine him and move on. People make mistakes. This was a mistake, and punishment, although way too harsh, was served. Last year I forgot to tag one of my late season deer prior to moving it and checking the deer. I'm sleeping just fine.

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from honda84 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

everything outdoors is becoming a pay to play game and most states are all over it. tax the number of points on the buck, tax the kid with the kayak, you walk out in your own backyard and you need an access sticker for accessing the outdoors, buy a 4 wheeler to go for a ride, hold on buster you need an orv sticker and you cant ride it anywhere legally except maybe on your own property but if you dont wear a helmet your gonna get a ticket anyways. i see the way of the future here and its not pretty. in simple terms those with the bucks get the bucks. i, of course, believe if he was in violation that he should loose the deer and his weapon and loss of hunting for at least 2 yrs. these guys do know exactly what they're doing, most have scouting cam photos of every deer on that parcel well in advance of season start. they pick and choose which properties in which states they want to pursue and what tags they need to buy. so is the way of the wealthy head hunters and its ruining our favorite sport. eat what you kill!

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from jkontras wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Egrill,

I agree. As hunters, we all make mistakes. If anyone can honestly say that they have never committed any sort of violation while hunting, they probably have limited time in the woods.With the way states are now regulating their hunters, it would almost be impossible to memorize all the laws, violations, and rules each state has. Every year states keep adding and adding laws to tighten the ropes on "poachers". Spann seems like a good guy to me, just not perfect. Lets not bash one of our own.Lets face it, there is a good chance Spann could out hunt the majority of the people that are posting on this site.I watched Spann shoot a 230 inch non-typical with his bow while being filmed.Unless you have done that, then you have no room to talk. Still the biggest fair chase buck shot on camera!

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from Carlton Fuqua wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

The Law is the law of "we the people". It didn't get on the books by accident. We can change the laws but it's very difficult, it better to pay attention and keep out the bad ones in the first place or just plan on loosing one more freedom. In this case poaching by any stretch of the imagination is not a freedom lost.

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from Carl D Black Jr wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I believe it was a honest mistake on his part and he took the road to hunt in the future. It's funny how people make GIANT deal out of the taking of whitetail deer and largemouth bass. I read an article a while back about a guy who caught 200 panfish over the limit. 3 COMMENTS!!! It's not like the guy killed several or tried to cover it up. This just sounds like jealousy. Whitetails and largemouths are not gods!

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from ox1_2000 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I am sure it has been said here already but I will say it again. It is the sole responsiblity of the hunter to ensure he or she is following the laws of the state he or she is hunting in. There is no excuse for not knowing the rules. I don't care what the circumstances.

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from ShooterMcJJ wrote 1 year 15 weeks ago

They went overboard on the punishment. $20K f'ing dollars altogether in civil money penalties for poaching a deer??? That is complete and utter bullshit. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that poaching should be prohibited because our population far exceeds the available wild game throughout the country. It's no longer the late 1700's where Dan'l Boone is hunting stag to feed him family. Poachers should indeed be punished, but this moron is being punished more than other people who have committed far more serious crimes. Punishment should fit the crime. One f'ing deer is not worth $20K. The government imposed civil fines can be and are often abusive. You have government employees who suddenly realize they have this certain amount of power to impose their will on others and they go overboard because they're consumed with this power that their lack of education or other skills would never have allowed them to achieve in the private sector. If it were me I would appeal these fines as cruel punishment...no unusual... but overly cruel because there is no way that the deer population was harmed to the tune of $20K or the state was harmed that amount of money at the time the deer was poached.

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from stickngar21 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

LFS 10 I apologize. It might not be the right time or place to make that correlation, but it just gets on my last nerve to think we get so serious about killing a deer when we can kill kids and nothing is wrong with it. However, I don't know much about the situation itself so I'll just mind my own business.

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from Cody Duncan wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I agree with stickngar so much effort goes into finding hunters in the wrong...I do believe in a quota system for controlling the population but the rules on where and how it is done is ridiculous to me...God gave man power over animals. Land that is private should be kept private if you paid to own that land...but a guy who is paying to hunt a piece of property and doesn't have the right paperwork - thats the system... why have so many license? archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, rifle, land owners, leasing, disabled, veterans, out of state etc they make it so confusing and then write a book that is an inch thick of rules...does it really have to be that serious. To me it should be more simplified - find a place to hunt, get written permission, buy ONE license / ONE TAG, kill a deer, pay taxes on that deer when checking harvest, but another TAG keep going until quota or season is over.

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from stickngar21 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

It amazes me that someone could get this much punishment for something that he more than likely didn't realize he was doing when we are allowed to have an abortion and kill our children with no penalty. I'm not saying what he did was right by any means, but you know America doesn't have our priority's straight when we're putting animals over human beings.

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from lineman309 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I agree with apex. This is no big deal. Hunting regs are too complicated. People get away with stuff like this all the time (usually unknowingly). However, when a hunting celeb kills a trophy, every little detail is checked. From the sound of most posts, i think most people are jealous. If they cant kill a trophy, then they dont want any one to. Especially a pro hunter. He must have done something wrong! He couldnt be a better than me! also, Walt Smith, his show is pretty damn good in my opinion, and if you dont know who spook spann is, you shouldnt even be allowed to post on this blog because you obviously dont follow hunting enough to make an educated comment.

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from Apex Plumbing wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I don't see the big deal. You mean all he had to do to make this right was simply purchase the correct license? If that's the case then it sounds like big government is the problem. There should be no difference just sell me a damn hunting license so I can kill a deer. Next it will be oh your license only covers a buck up to 125 class or smaller when the wind is blowing out of the NNW, you should have bought the next license that cost more if you want to shoot a bigger buck on any given wind......

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