After a long investigation beginning in 2018 and a successful sting operation, officials charge a rancher in Wyoming for selling poached deer as beef jerky. Yes, you read that right, Outsiders.
Wyoming Game and Fish Officials charged a man with 26 wildlife violations this week. Gary Lee Ferrier was suspected of using antelope and deer beef by passing it off as beef jerky. He’s also been selling it to customers. Ferrier accepted a plea deal in which he plead no contest to 9 out of 26 charges.
The investigation started nearly four years ago after Ferrier’s former girlfriend informed spilled the beans to authorities. She told them of Ferrier’s pronghorn antelope and mule deer hunting on a ranch without a license.
According to the Casper-Star Tribune, legal documents reveal that officials set up a sting operation. Investigators saw that Ferrier advertised private hunts on his illegal ranch via social media. Before spending three days on the Grazing Hills Ranch, authorities bought a $300 trespass voucher. This is when Ferrier discussed the hunting and illegally harvested animals in his care.
When authorities searched the ranch, they discovered 75 packages of pronghorn and mule deer disguised as “organic beef.” The Star Tribune reports that Ferrier confessed to his crimes. He claimed he falsely advertised his product to “get him out of a bad situation.”
The rancher pled no contest to killing the deer and antelope. He also pled to two counts of wanton destruction of big game animals, and three counts of selling game meat. Authorities dismissed the charges in exchange for Ferrier taking this plea. Ferrier can also no longer hunt, fish, or trap for at least 5 years. And until he pays the $45,070 fines and restitution, he isn’t allowed to hunt in the 49 member states.
Three Kansas Men Charged After Years of Deer Hunting on Federal Property
On Thursday, three men in Kansas plead guilty after years of illegal deer hunting on federal property.
Authorities caught the three men trespassing on the Army’s weapon range while illegally hunting deer. The three men accepted separate plea deals to their misdemeanor to avoid jail time. However, they must pay thousands of dollars in fines. They are also now on probation and not allowed to hunt for three years.
Officials identified three men as Gregory J. Frikken, 55, James C. Nunley, 32, and Michael J. Smith, 55. On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister gave a statement on the behavior of the three deer poachers.
“Their behavior was not only unlawful and selfish, it was potentially dangerous to themselves and thus also foolish. Trespassing on a federal military base is a serious error of judgment. Unlawfully killing trophy deer undermines hunting and hunters who abide by the rules,” his statement says.