Hunting Conservation photo

In 1992, Gary Vorhies was convicted of illegally killing the well-known “Growler Elk,” a 365-inch B&C bull on Wyoming’s Two Dot Ranch. In 2001, he was busted for poaching two bighorn rams and sentenced to four years in jail and $52,000 in fines and restitution (although he only spent about one year in the clink). Now, a Wyoming court has found him guilty a third time of four additional charges, including killing three whitetail deer illegally and guiding another deer hunter to illegal kills. This time, he got four years in jail with three years suspended and $27,120 in fines and restitution.

So how do you stop a serial poacher like Vorhies? Some at the Wyoming Game & Fish Department say they’d have a better shot at it if some Wyoming game violations carried felony charges.

“People who are fined but don’t have money anyway aren’t deterred by financial penalties, Wyoming game warden Bill Roberston told the Cody Enterprise.

“There comes a time you have to ask what other penalties for the more egregious cases can be levied,” Robertson said.

“That’s where the concept of three strikes and you’re into a felony comes in,” he said.

“You lose many privileges with a felony, such as being unable to possess firearms,” Robertson said.

What do you think? Should poaching be a felony is some cases?