Hunter pays big fine for killing elk |

Hunter pays big fine for killing elk

MONTROSE, Colo. ” A Texas man has paid nearly $12,000 for illegally killing a bull elk in the wrong game management unit and then lying about the location to officers from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Mitchell Phelps, 46, of Athens, Tex., shot a six-point bull elk while archery hunting on Sept. 16, in game management unit 61, a prized limited-license area on the west side of the Uncompahgre Plateau near Montrose, according to the DOW. Phelps’ license, however, allowed him to hunt only in game management unit 62, located just to the northeast of where he was hunting.

“A unit 61 elk license is highly prized, it’s a big deal when a hunter draws one, people wait years to draw those licenses,” said Renzo Delpiccolo, area wildlife manager for the DOW in Montrose, in a DOW press release. “So when someone sneaks into the wrong unit and kills a trophy animal, that’s a serious crime.”

Phelps paid $11,702 in fines and was assessed 35 penalty points against his hunting privileges which could prohibit him from hunting for up to five years. In Colorado, accumulation of 20 penalty points leads to a license-suspension hearing and the possibility of losing hunting and fishing privileges for up to five years. Colorado also participates with other states in a wildlife compact agreement; so Phelps could also lose his hunting and fishing privileges in 24 other states. Texas does not participate in the compact agreement.

The length of his suspension will be determined at a hearing with the DOW this winter.

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