Kentucky men fined nearly $31,000 for poaching elk on TV hunting show

(Wyoming Game and Fish Department photo)

DOUGLAS, Wyo. — Two Kentucky men who appeared on a cable television hunting show have been fined nearly $31,000 and have lost their hunting privileges for 15 years after poaching two bull elk in southeastern Wyoming in 2014.

The case emerged when a Wyoming resident watching “Hunting in the Sticks” on the Pursuit Channel reported that the men appeared to have killed elk in the wrong hunting district during an episode titled “Western Redemption.”

“I believe the two defendants were driven to get kill-shot footage for the television show and that resulted in their making bad decisions,” said Mike Ehlebracht, an investigator with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Ricky J. Mills and Jimmy G. Duncan, both of Bedford, Ky., pleaded guilty to several poaching violations earlier this week. The websites and Facebook page for the TV show were offline Tuesday.

Information about the show on the Pursuit Channel website says, “Every deer we harvest, every turkey we call in, they are earned, and that’s the way we want it.”

Duncan, 25, was ordered to pay $17,500 in fines and restitution, including $6,000 in restitution for a bull elk and $4,000 for an antelope he killed in 2013. Mills, 37, was ordered to pay $13,460. The Game and Fish Department said they also had to forfeit their elk mounts.

The loss of hunting and trapping privileges extends to 44 states, including Kentucky, that are part of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

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