solved cases

The following cases have been solved, with the help of you... and the Turn In Poachers program!

Walleye overbag

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Pierre/Ft. Pierre
  • When: May 2013
  • Details: TIPs caller reported two men in a boat on Lake Sharpe that he felt were over their limit of walleyes. Violators were caught with 20 walleyes and assessed $732 in criminal fines/costs and $1,200 in civil damages. Each poacher received 1 year revocation of fishing privileges.

Investigation yields over $235,000 in penalties

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Todd County
  • When:2008-2012
  • Details: Eighteen individuals pleaded guilty and were sentenced in both State and Federal Court to fines, restitution, and civil damages in excess of $235,000 for wildlife violations that occurred at a commercial hunting operation in Todd County. The investigation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe revealed that the owners of a commercial hunting lodge hosted paying hunting clients from Michigan, Texas, Minnesota and New Jersey for guided deer and pheasant hunts. The investigation documented that the owners, along with several of their hunting clients, unlawfully killed and possessed a minimum of fifty-six (56) deer, hawks, owls, badgers, and turkeys. The value of the unlawfully killed wildlife was documented to be over $70,000.

    The lodge owner pled guilty in Federal Court to a felony charge of Conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and multiple counts of Unlawful Possession of wildlife in State Court. He was sentenced to two months in custody and ordered to pay $92,285. His wife pled guilty in Federal Court to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and unlawfully transferring a hunting license in State Court. She was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay $10,594.

    Sixteen other defendants also pled guilty to State and Federal wildlife violations as a result of the investigation and were sentenced to fines ranging from $135 to more than $26,000 per person. Collectively, the defendants in this case had their hunting privileges revoked for thirty nine (39) years and were additionally sentenced to twenty one (21) years of probation.

big game violations

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Dewey County
  • When: January 2013
  • Details: Complaints from local citizens and a two-year investigation revealed that a group of six hunters violated numerous game laws including big game tag transfers, chasing big game with motor vehicles, shooting at big game from motor vehicles, hunting without licenses, failing to tag big game animals, improper use of radios to hunt big game, taking over limits of game and wanton waste of game. The six defendants were convicted and assessed a combined $9,590 in criminal fines, $19,000 in civil damages for the illegal deer, $4,500 in restitution for the cost of the investigation, 240 days in jail (212 suspended), and 11 years of hunting license revocation.

Deer Poached

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Minnehaha County
  • When: October, 2012
  • Details: Reporting party witnessed the illegal take of a deer in Minnehaha County and called the TIPs hotline. Following an investigation, two subjects were later arrested and assessed a combined $484 in fines, $1,000 in civil damages for the illegal deer, 180 days in jail (all suspended), and 2 years of hunting license revocation.

Snow Goose illegal hunt

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Miner County
  • When: November, 2012
  • Details: Eight defendants were sentenced to a combined $1,600 in fines, $24,075 in restitution for the illegal take of 417 snow geese, and 11 years of hunting license revocation.

Deer Poached

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Todd County
  • When: Fall, 2011
  • Details: Landowner reported violation of 9 illegal whitetail deer; all untagged. 3 poachers only had four tags to use and chose not to tag any. Received $5,000 in civil damages and $1,518 in criminal fines/costs with 120 days suspended jail time.

geese poached

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Brown County
  • When: Summer, 2010
  • Details: TIPs call regarding goose hunting during the closed season. An investigation revealed 16 illegally taken Canada geese. Two individuals were cited for hunting in closed season, one of which was also cited for hunting under revocation. Each was assessed $220 fines/costs and loss of hunting privileges for one year.

Illegal hunting at shooting preserve

  • SD Deer PoachedWhere: Near Wessington
  • When: January 2006
  • Details: An informant reported over limits of pheasants, lack of record keeping, failing to tag pheasants, and other illegal activities at a private shooting preserve. 67 one-gallon bags of untagged phesants where found in the cleaning and storage facility. A subsequent count of the bags revealed that 745 pheasants were illegally possessed. The owner of the lodge plead guilty to: 2 counts of failure to notify of release of birds, 2 counts of violating the shooting preserve act and 2 counts of failure to tag bagged birds. He paid $10,403 in fines, court costs and restitution. He also received 200 days of jail, all suspended, and 12 months of probation. He later paid $30,000 in civil damages for the illegal pheasants.


Investigation Yields Over $235,000 In Penalties
Dewey County Poachers Caught
Bighorn Sheep Poached

Deer and Antelope Poached

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Wildlife IncorporatedWILDLIFE PROTECTION
523 E Capitol Ave
Pierre, SD 57501

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