February 28, 2013

Hunting celebrity "Spook" Spann sentenced in poaching incident

Hunting celebrity William “Spook” Spann, from Dickson, Tenn., was formally sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City Thursday morning for a deer he shot illegally in 2007.

As per a plea agreement initially levied against Spann last November, according to court records provided Thursday, Spann’s sentence includes -

– Paying $10,000 in fines for the crime.

– $10,000 in restitution for the value of the buck.

–Spann is also in three years federal supervised release.

– He has been ordered to “forfeit to the United States the antlers in question, the mold of the antlers and any exact reproduction of said antlers.”

– Spann also had his hunting privileges suspended for six months within the United States, and for an additional six months within the state of Kansas.

Spann was hunting in central Kansas in mid-November 2007 when he arrowed a buck of about 230 Boone & Crockett inches on land he’d 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 non-resident deer permits are awarded after a spring drawing process, and for one or two large deer management units within the state.

The permit he placed on the buck was only valid on lands 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 qualified for a violation of the Lacey Act, a federal wildlife violation.

Spann went on to garner a lot of media attention via footage of the hunt shown on hunting videos and outdoors television shows. He’s also appeared at many hunting shows, and operates a hunting website.

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