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Outdoors celebrity 'Spook' Spann sentenced to jail for violation of poaching probation

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 2:45 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.

Professional hunter and outdoors television show host William “Spook” Spann has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and has been banned from hunting worldwide for one year.

Spann, 50, of Dickson, Tenn., received the sentence for violating conditions of a probation for a poaching violation he received last year in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo.

His jail time can be spent through assorted nights and weekends and must be completed by Feb. 28, 2014. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons will decide where Spann serves his time.

According to a court document, U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara ruled Spann had violated a probation that forbid him from hunting anywhere in the United States for about the first half of this year. Federal game wardens obtained video footage and Facebook photos of Spann dressed in camoflauge and assisting other turkey hunters this spring in Tennessee.

Though Spann was not carrying a weapon and did not kill a turkey, he was ruled to be hunting because he was calling to turkeys, carrying hunting equipment, carrying dead turkeys and illegally spreading bait to attract turkeys.

In November 2012, Spann pled guilty to a 2007 violation of the Lacey Act, when he transported an illegally-tagged buck from Kansas to Tennessee. In November 2007, Spann shot a whitetail buck in Stafford County that carried non-typical antlers that gross-scored about 230 inches of antler on the Pope & Young scoring system, making it one of the biggest bucks killed in the world.

The buck was shot during the Kansas archery deer season, with proper equipment and where Spann had permission to hunt. The permit he used, though, was specifically restricted to land Spann owned and/or leased for agricultural purposes.

When Spann plead guilty in November to the Lacey Act violation, he was ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and restitution. He was then banned from hunting anywhere in the U.S. for six months and from hunting in Kansas for an entire year. He was also ordered to forfeit the antlers of the illegally-tagged buck, and any replicas that had been made of the rack.

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