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Florida men banned from hunting Colorado for life

Florida men banned from Colorado for poaching big game animals

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Thanks to an anonymous tip, two Florida men will no longer be able to hunt in Colorado. Timothy Draper and Lawrence Cowart, both of Bunnell, Florida, appeared in Lincoln County Court last week. They were charged with poaching at least three mule deer and six antelope in Elbert and Lincoln counties, according to The Denver Post.

“Mr. Cowart has a history of violating wildlife laws in his home state of Florida and in North Carolina,” Steven Cooley, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission hearing examiner, said in a news release. “His most recent wildlife violations in Colorado are considered among the most serious of criminal activity against wildlife, where an animal is killed for its trophy parts and the meat is abandoned to waste.”

Investigators charged both men in 2018. They were sentenced last week, according to Fox News Denver

Florida poachers banned from Colorado

Poached mule deer and antelope. Source: The Denver Post

According to The Denver Post, Draper pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor illegal possession of three or more big game animals. He was sentenced to a 20-year hunting ban in Colorado and two years of supervised probation. He was forced to forfeit his firearms and required to pay over $6,000 in game penalties, fines and court costs.

Cowart pleaded guilty to felony willful destruction of wildlife and was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $2,440 in fines and court costs. He forfeited his firearms and “received a lifetime ban from hunting in Colorado,” according to The Denver Post.

Both men also turned in the trophy heads of the poached deer and antelope.

Did the punishment fit the crime?

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Franklin H. - posted 1 month ago on 02-28-2020 04:34:50 pm

Greg H. Comments on Gary H. posts about the low life California and Florida poachers recently caught and convicted involving the total illegal taking of big game. Trophy no trophy has nothing to do with it. Kill, eat be happy attitude I hope is not the general consensus of our Gohunt insiders. A nice attitude and philosophy to live by, but there’s a ton more to it than that considering
our very fragile activity that we choose to dedicate ourselves to. Yes, your private property is yours to do with what you please, but unless you’re a landowner with landowner permits the wildlife that visits your property belongs to the United States citizens with responsible government agencies overseeing their management. Apparently the prosecuting entities involved with these cases felt totally justified in their actions. True it is all of our right to chime in with our opinions. Our country was founded on that principle, and that’s what makes us great. Although Gary’s blog is a strong one, and I’m sure to be taken only in context he’s had me totally LMAO all day long. He probably is a man with strong convictions about his legal passion that every day is being threatened, not only by anti persuasion but illegal activities performed by hopefully a very small minority of individuals. Gary, I’d love to bump into you at a hunting camp somewhere down the line, talk about ethical hunting, our personal commitment and financial support of what we love to do. Take care my friend, good luck with all your draws.
And never loose your convictions.

Vase G. - posted 1 month ago on 02-20-2020 05:58:12 pm
Portland OR

This is not enough. Make a better example of them so future and other poachers grasp the level of the wrong... Looks like These two are bouncing around from state to state and finally It got to them. Can you just process the times they haven’t got caught?.
If you believe in this as a high crime then show it louder!. They’ve done it 3 other states prior and you just took their guns away!? That’s garbage!. How about some prison time.

Roger L. - posted 1 month ago on 02-20-2020 05:45:51 pm

Poaching fines are notoriously low in most states. I believe this contributes to the problem since violators know a misdemeanor conviction and low fine is all they will receive if and when they are caught. Although one of the poachers was given a lifetime hunting ban in this state,this is the exception and not the rule in a majority of cases. Flagrant poaching should ALWAYS result in a lifetime ban on hunting .

Aaron H. - posted 1 month ago on 02-20-2020 02:06:23 pm
College Station, Texas

The fine should've been higher to match the life ban.

Nicholas H. - posted 1 month ago on 02-19-2020 03:56:36 pm

Colorado is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact the lifetime ban will apply to any other state that is a compact member. All but 5 are and 4 of the 5 are in the process of becoming members. Florida is a current member.

Ryan L. - posted 1 month ago on 02-19-2020 02:27:55 pm
Springfield, MO

Finally a punishment on these poaching cases that take away hunting rights for a long time and in one case life. Folks that poach will continue to poach keeping them out of the state completely is a great thing.

Gary H. - posted 1 month ago on 02-19-2020 10:20:42 am

They should have cut their hands off.