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Outdoor Channel star guilty of poaching Wyoming elk


Wyoming Elk
Photo credit: Getty Images 

Bill Busbice, Jr., star of the popular Outdoor Channel show Wildgame Nation, was recently convicted of poaching a calf elk and a bull elk last year while filming an episode on the Spring Creek Ranch on La Barge Creek in Wyoming. The calf elk was discovered in a ditch intact and with no attempt to salvage the meat; the bull elk taken without a proper license, Wyo 4 News reports.

A group of hunters reported the suspicious activity to Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird, who began investigating the case on Oct. 16, 2016.

“The hunters told me that on the morning of October 15th they observed a man hunting on the ranch,” Baird told Wyo 4 News. “Apparently, there was a younger man with the hunter who had a video camera and appeared to be filming the hunt. They watched the hunter shoot one elk, presumably a cow, and then shoot a bull. The first elk fell within around 60 yards of where the bull went down. They observed the hunter and the cameraman walk up to look at the bull and then leave the area.”

Poached Wyoming elk taken by Bill Busbice
The poached elk taken by Bill Busbice. Photo source: Wyoming Game and Fish Department

The bull elk was properly field dressed and removed from the area; however, the cow elk was left to waste in an irrigation ditch. Busbice later admitted to shooting the calf elk by mistake and ordered the ranch manager and cameraman to hide the evidence. According to Wyo 4 News, Warden Baird discovered that Busbice and crew purposely dumped the bull’s gut pile in the creek to further conceal their crimes. Yet, an unedited video exposed the entire story and Busbice was charged with intentionally allowing an antlerless elk to go to waste as well as taking an elk without the proper license.

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Busbice was sentenced to 180 days of jail suspended with one and a half years of probation. He was ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution and loses his hunting and fishing privileges for two years within the 45 states that participate in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. He had previously been convicted of purchasing a resident general elk license as a nonresident and purchasing more than the authorized number of deer licenses, according to Wyo 4 News.

The Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks announced the suspension of Busbice’s show Wildgame Nation as well as any future appearances from Busbice on the Outdoor Channel.

“Outdoor Sportsman Group is committed to legal and ethical hunting,” said Jim Liberatore, CEO and President of Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks, in a statement. “We have strict policies and procedures in place that require all of our talent and producers to abide by all hunting regulations. We hold our employees to the highest of standards in order to ensure that we are effectively serving the outdoor community. As a result of the recent charges in Wyoming involving Bill Busbice, Jr., we have suspended the show and Busbice indefinitely from Outdoor Channel.”


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Alex P. - posted 11 months ago on 07-06-2017 08:37:29 pm

Probation? This scum bag needs to have his hunting PRIVILEGES gone for good. These TV shows bring attention to an already ridiculed sport and when they go off and do something like this its severely detrimental to the rest of us and our ability to hunt private & public lands. People make mistakes, and if you do man up and call the game warden. What a little bitch.

Dennis B. - posted 11 months ago on 07-02-2017 04:39:40 pm

So Papa Busbice found a trouble in Wyoming and got his show, Wildgame Nation, kicked off the Outdoor Channel. His boys will simply start a new show, maybe call it Wildgame Tribe. Perhaps the new show will feature another huge personality with Papa Busbice simply re-dying his hair and beard-this time perhaps red- and being introduced as their weird uncle Ernie.

kyle g. - posted 11 months ago on 06-28-2017 05:34:48 pm
Gilbert, AZ

Agree with all of you. This is disgusting.

Gil B. - posted 11 months ago on 06-28-2017 02:40:43 pm
San Francisco, CA

Well said, Thomas.

Monte H. - posted 11 months ago on 06-28-2017 12:26:34 pm

I completely agree with Thomas. In addition I hope the retail stores that sell his products stop doing so. That brand does not represent hunters or hunting. As a Wyoming native struggling to draw a tag to have someone buy a commissioners tag and exploit our wildlife make me sick!

Thomas L. - posted 11 months ago on 06-28-2017 10:49:41 am
Mancos, CO

I am glad the outdoor channel fired him. If you going to be a representative of the hunting industry. You should be held to a higher standard. And to kill an animal and let it go to waste. There are donation programs for people that have to much meat. This whole thing just pisses me off. Im glad he lost everything. The same thing should happen to everyone that poaches for money or trophy.