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Hunter fined, hunting privileges suspended for illegally killing buck

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, March 1, 2013, at 6:41 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.

Hunting celebrity William “Spook” Spann was formally sentenced in U.S. District Court in Kansas City on Thursday for illegally killing a deer in 2007.

As part of a plea agreement initially levied against Spann in November, according to court records provided Thursday, Spann’s sentence includes:

• $10,000 in fines for the crime

• $10,000 in restitution for the value of the buck

• Three years’ federal supervised release

• Forfeiture “to the United States (of) the antlers in question, the mold of the antlers and any exact reproduction of said antlers.”

• Suspension of hunting privileges for six months within the United States and for an additional six months within the state of Kansas.

Spann, of Dickson, Tenn., was bow-hunting in central Kansas in mid-November 2007 when he shot a buck of about 230 Boone & Crockett inches on land he had leased from the landowner for $5,000, according to court records. Along with a cameraman, Spann stalked the buck and shot it during legal shooting hours with legal archery equipment.

The crime was that his hunting permit was a “Non-Resident, Hunt-Your-Own-Land” deer permit he’d purchased earlier in the month. Most nonresident deer permits are awarded after a spring drawing process and for one or two large deer management units within the state.

The permit Spann placed on the buck was valid only on land Spann owned or land he rented or leased and actively farmed for profit.

That the illegally taken buck’s antlers were eventually taken across state borders also was a violation of the federal Lacey Act.

Spann received a lot of media attention because of footage of the hunt shown on hunting videos and outdoors TV shows. He also has appeared at many hunting shows and operates a hunting website.

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