Trophy-hunting business owner admits to illegally importing deer to Kansas

A Pennsylvania man who owns a trophy-hunting company pleaded guilty Monday to illegally importing deer into Kansas.

Robert McConnell, 48, of Slippery Rock, Penn., pleaded guilty in federal court to four counts of importing deer into Kansas, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a release.

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 in two counts. In the other two, he admitted to importing domesticated deer, the release said.

He violated the Lacey Act, which regulates the trade of wildlife, fish and plants that have been taken, possessed, transported or sold illegally, the release said.

McConnell owns Horseshoe Hill Outfitters, which advertises “trophy North American big game hunting adventures” in Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Ontario and Quebec on its website.

“Our hunters come back year after year to bag that huge trophy animal. ... We have a taxidermist on staff that can mount your trophy or make a rug,” the website states.

Sentencing is set for May 21, and both sides have agreed to a recommended sentence a fine of at least $10,000 and five years on probation, during which McConnell is prohibited from doing business in Kansas.