An out-of-state resident has been found guilty of the crime of
unlawful waste of game, called "wanton waste" in Reno.
According to a Nevada Department of Wildlife report, Erik William
Swanson of Phoenix, Ariz., was found guilty of wanton waste and will be
sentenced in about 30 days in Reno Justice Court. Swanson faces up to
six months in Washoe County Jail and a fine of up to $500 in addition to
the loss of all hunting privileges in the state.
"People who waste these animals are not sportsmen, they are
criminals," said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden in Reno. "We are
particularly disturbed when criminals masquerade as hunters and waste
precious Nevada resources."
The specifics of the incident started on Aug. 27, 2005 when Swanson
illegally shot a doe antelope while hunting in unit 014 in Northern
Washoe County with a valid buck tag.
Although he knew that he shot and killed the doe, Swanson decided to
leave it to rot. Several hunters witnessed the shooting and informed
game wardens that investigated the case, and a successful investigation
and prosecution followed. The conviction by the Washoe County District
Attorney's office comes on the heels of a significant increase in
wildlife crime across the state this year.
NDOW seeks clues on big-game poaching cases
Nevada Department of Wildlife game wardens are seeking the public's
help to solve a substantial increase in the number of poached big game
animals across the state.
Game wardens have discovered many poached animals around the state
throughout the hunting season.
Near Battle Mountain, game wardens found four poached mule deer.
In Lincoln County, wardens are investigating reports of three cow elk
Game wardens also discovered several mule deer poached in Washoe
County. All these cases are in addition to individual animals
sporadically found in other parts of the state.
More alarming to wardens is the disturbing trend of groups of poached
animals found killed and left to waste. In Elko County, wardens are
investigating a report of three poached elk and a group of five poached
"We are used to seeing some poachers pretending to be hunters during
the open season," said Rob Buonamici, chief game warden in Reno. "But
the concentration of some of these poached animals is alarming. Each and
every animal killed without a tag is a felony, which we take very
seriously. We intend to use all our resources to apprehend the persons
responsible for these crimes."
Along with these extraordinary cases, wardens are also seeing an
upswing in more traditional wildlife crimes, such as loaded guns in
vehicles, improperly punched tags and so-called party hunting.
"We are getting many spike bucks killed mistakenly by doe hunters. We
have had several cases of people mistakenly killing multiple animals. We
always see these kinds of cases year after year, but this year there
seems to be more of everything," said Game Warden Lieutenant Jerry
As cases of theft, poaching and assault keep Nevada's 31 field game
wardens working overtime, game wardens are seeing a corresponding
increase in wildlife crimes of all kinds putting even more pressure on
Nevada's wildlife, according to Buonamici.
Game wardens are asking hunters in the field to report suspicious
activity and wildlife crimes to Operation Game Thief (OGT) at
1-800-992-3030. Only through the public's help can game wardens protect