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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2004

POACHER GETS FIVE-YEAR BAN ON HUNTING

By Naomi Havlen

Aspen Times Staff Writer

February 25, 2004

A Carbondale man will not be able to hunt or possess guns for five years after pleading guilty to poaching charges Tuesday.

Colorado Division of Wildlife officers say Charles Goure, 37, killed at least five deer close to a road on private property in Pitkin County in December. Goure originally faced nine charges but he reached a plea agreement and admitted to four of the charges.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawful taking of wildlife, one count of wasting edible game wildlife and unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in his vehicle. The charges are misdemeanors.

Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols told Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely that Colorado Division of Wildlife officials are concerned that they'll find more deer carcasses in the area as snow melts.

"Since the DOW talked to him, the killing has stopped," Nichols said. Goure told Fernandez-Ely that he had nothing to say about the case. He had

told DOW officials that he was in the area to shoot for target practice and that the deer "got in the way," Nichols told the judge.

Five deer were found in the area, three with wounds from .22-caliber guns.

DOW officials, patrolling the area after the deer were discovered, pulled over Goure in late December.

Nichols said bullets from two of the carcasses could not be found. She did not specify where the incident occurred, but said Goure told her it happened near Thomasville.

Colorado Division of Wildlife officials could not be reached for comment.

The other charges that were dismissed included hunting in a careless manner, hunting out of season and hunting with artificial light.

Wildlife officials said Goure had a light with him in his vehicle to shine at his target, Nichols said.

Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely ordered Goure to forfeit the rifle that the DOW took away from him and the ammunition that was with him at the time. Goure said he will give his other guns to a cousin to keep for the next five years.

As part of his sentence for five years of unsupervised probation, a Division of Wildlife officer is allowed to make an unannounced visit to Goure's house, checking for the presence of any weapons or ammunition. The checks can happen once every year for the next five years.

Goure was also fined $892, including court costs.

[Naomi Havlen's e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com ]


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