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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2004

RANCHER PAYS LAST OF RECORD HUNTING FINE

Posted on Wed, Nov. 24, 2004

Hunters in 2002 called wildlife officials after they realized a pilot was using his plane to chase deer -- and that led to other federal charges.

BY MICHAEL PEARCE

The Wichita Eagle

A Scott City rancher paid the final portion of $104,000 in fines for illegal hunting tactics and other wildlife-related crimes Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Topeka.

It's the largest penalty for wildlife-related crimes in Kansas, according to Kenny Kessler, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service special agent.

Dwight Krebs, 51, paid $15,000 Tuesday in restitution to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

In September, he paid $89,000 in U.S. District Court in Wichita for the return of a 1993 Piper Super Cub confiscated last March.

"I'm glad it's all over. It's been a very expensive lesson and a very stressful time," Krebs said Tuesday afternoon. "I'm glad to finally put it all behind me and move on."

Among charges filed against Krebs was illegal use of an airplane to spot and harass game, and the illegal use of vehicles and two-way radios while hunting.

Kessler said the case stemmed from tips from local sportsmen in 2002.

"They called KDWP and complained about a yellow airplane they thought was chasing deer," Kessler said. "They referred the information to us, and we started a joint investigation."

Undercover agents from the Fish and Wildlife Service and Wildlife and Parks booked hunts with Krebs' guide service on his ranch in Logan and Gove counties during the 2003 firearms deer season.

Helping Krebs with the guiding was Jim Jenkins. As well as illegal use of vehicles and radios, Jenkins illegally put his own deer permit on a buck shot by one of the agents.

Several of the crimes led to the illegal transport of game across state lines, which is a federal violation.

In addition to the $104,000 in fines, Krebs was placed on three years' supervised probation, making it illegal for him to participate in any hunting or shooting activity.

Jenkins was forced to forfeit a hunting rifle and was given two months of home confinement, in addition to the same probationary sentence as Krebs.

Krebs and Jenkins were cooperative throughout the investigation, Kessler said.

Though the case was prosecuted by federal officers, Wildlife and Parks officials are pleased with their contribution and the entire process.

"This shows how the system really should work," said Kevin Jones, Wildlife and Parks director of law enforcement.

"It started with people in the local community becoming concerned and getting involved, then we worked with federal agents to bring the pair to justice.

"Everybody contributed their fair share."


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