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Pennsylvania outfitter guilty of importing whitetail into Kansas


Kansas Whitetail Deer
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Some hunters who hired a Pennsylvania-based outfitter to guide them on a trophy-worthy hunt in Kansas may not have actually harvested a Kansas buck. Robert McConnell, the owner of Horseshoe Hill Outfitters, has pleaded guilty to four counts of “illegally importing deer into Kansas,” the Associated Press reports.

McConnell, whose hunting business promises trophy-worthy hunting in Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Ontario, and Quebec, is charged with violating the Lacey Act. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, under the Lacey Act, “it is unlawful to import, export, sell, acquire, or purchase fish, wildlife or plants that are taken, possessed, transported, or sold.”

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However, McConnell did just that.

The Wichita Eagle reports that McConnell “admitted to importing deer that were not from an accredited herd, were not officially identified and did not have a certificate of veterinary inspection” and “admitted to importing domesticated deer.” McConnell will be sentenced May 21 and will likely be fined a minimum of $10,000 and sentenced to five years of probation, during which time he would not be allowed to do business in Kansas.


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Josh V. - posted 1 year ago on 02-22-2018 07:17:44 am

I won a Kansas Whitetail hunt from Bob McConnell in 2015. Ended up not being able to go and he said we could reschedule for 2016. 2016 rolls around and he was no longer hunting in Kansas, but offered me a hunt in Ohio--said he pulled out of Kansas because it was getting harder for his hunters to draw the license...guess I know now why he pulled out of Kansas. Never ended up hunting with him, but he was still trying to get me to book a hunt this past season. To answer the member's question below, the hunt area in Kansas was leased open ground. He had minimum antler restrictions for hunters, so i guess he did not have enough big deer on the property to sustain the antler restrictions.

SCOTT R. - posted 2 years ago on 02-18-2018 10:37:44 am
Reno, NV

When I say smaller levels I mean: Hunting is becoming a rich mans game. Private land tags, the difficulty of drawing tags, baiting deer with apples, alfalfa, etc. Wish it was 1940.

SCOTT R. - posted 2 years ago on 02-18-2018 10:26:16 am
Reno, NV

How sad! We are driving the hunting industry into a dark place. In Sonora, MX this is common place. No laws against it. We as hunters are so obsessed with big deer. Supply and demand. So wrong on so many levels. How do we stop it? Increase the fines is a great idea, lifetime bans..... On smaller levels its happening everywhere.

Jeremy W. - posted 2 years ago on 02-12-2018 05:07:19 am
Perry, Georgia

I'm just curious if he was releasing them into a game preserve or into the wild?
Eric A. - posted 2 years ago on 02-10-2018 11:33:59 am
Forks, WA

Should find out how much he charges for "trophy hunts" then multiple that by how many deer he brought in, then double it to figure out his punishment. If his fine is less then the amount he made off the hunts is it really punishment or just a speed bump?