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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS: > 2004

NM - ILLEGAL HUNTING EXPEDITIONS

Law enforcement officers say they've caught some hunters who took out of state clients on illegal hunting expeditions. Wednesday Federal agents raided several places in northern New Mexico.

Officers carry out all sorts of antlers from sierra taxidermy in Espanola even a stuffed big horn sheep is taken out of the building. The raid comes as part of a big federal investigation.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish are in the process of issuing eight warrants, some in New Mexico and some in one other state within the U.S."

The other state is Virginia. according to court documents, guides in Espanola were paid money by residents in Virginia to take them on illegal hunts.

One man paid 29-hundred dollars to the guides when he killed an elk and oryx but none of the hunters bothered to getting New Mexico hunting licenses.

The hunters are even accused of making their illegal kills without even getting out of a vehicle. Some bull elk carcasses were found here in Valles Caldera National Preserve and an agent went under cover on a hunting trip as part of an in-depth investigation that started well over a year ago.

"Given the magnitude of the warrants it is significant, a lot of work has gone into preparation at this point."

U.S. Fish and Wildlife says it couldn't comment tonight in great detail about the investigation, but the agency hopes to have more details on this case on Thursday.

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