25-Year-Old Receives Lifetime Hunting Ban in First for Indiana

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Vincenzo Izzo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

A 25-year-old hunter recently received a lifetime hunting ban in Indiana, marking the first of its kind in the state. The IN man was found guilty of a number of hunting-related crimes but most prominently for poaching wild turkey out of season. The specifics of his crimes are outlined below.

Wane.com identified the 25-year-old hunter as Hanson Pusey from West Lafayette, IN. He was found guilty of illegally hunting wild turkeys in seven different states. That total includes his home state of IN. The state’s Department of Natural Resources states Pusey received his sentence on Thursday in Warren County Court. However, the sentence also included a number of other consequences.

A permanent hunting ban in IN is just the beginning. The court also sentenced the IN poacher to home detention, probation, and payment of fines to the seven aforementioned states.

The investigation into Pusey’s actions began in 2020, headed by a team of Indiana Conservation Officers. They were prompted to launch the investigation after Pusey reportedly began hunting turkeys in March 2019. He began taking the birds despite having had his privileges suspended. Aside from IN’s lifetime hunting ban, investigators have also found evidence of Pusey poaching in six other states. These include North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Aside from his own misdoings, the hunter was also seen helping friends and family members poach turkeys.

Authorities Conduct Search of Pusey’s Home, Authorizing Hunting Ban

Following an extensive period of observation, authorities conducted a legal search of the 25-year-old hunter’s home. While there, they found a litany of items that served as evidence and helped in slapping Pusey with the hunting ban.

During their search, authorities found a number of spent shotgun shells which reveal the dates and locations in which the poacher took each of the turkeys. 83 of the shell casings documented dated all the way back to 2012. 14 others were dated within three months of when Pusey received his first hunting suspension in 2019. Four of the 14 were taken in IN.

After years of poaching wild turkeys, the convicted hunter also has a number of fines to pay. The news outlet listed the number of potential fines and consequences Pusey faces from each of the states in which he took illegal birds.

The DNR said that the 25-year-old will potentially owe the state of Pennsylvania up to $4,125 in fines and costs while also receiving an eight-year hunting license suspension. Connecticut could slap Pusey with an additional $324 in costs and fines while also issuing an indefinite hunting suspension. He likely owes Massachusetts $700 in fines and costs while also enduring a ban on hunting while on probation. Pusey also faces fines ranging between $278 to $2,335 from states including Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

In addition to poaching, The IN hunter has also been found guilty of hunting without permission in Warren County and also for stealing another hunter’s trail camera.