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ND - Bowman outfitter faces more hunting violations

Bowman outfitter faces more hunting violations

By JAMES MacPHERSON Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press - Thursday, January 31, 2008
BISMARCK, N.D.

Bowman County residents know Warren Anderson lost his hunting privileges for breaking the law, so when he's seen afield, game wardens get a call.

Anderson, 63, of Bowman, was ordered two years ago to pay $60,000 and forfeit his hunting privileges, for killing eagles and other federal wildlife violations. He now has been charged in state court with other hunting-related crimes, including possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

Art Cox, a Bowman-based game warden with the state Game and Fish Department, said tips from hunters and other residents in the county led to the recent charges.

"He's well-known in the community," Cox said.

Anderson is accused of hunting and assisting hunters while his hunting and outfitting privileges were suspended; harassing and assaulting other hunters and driving a vehicle in a state wildlife area that is off-limits to vehicles.

"He has not stopped," Bowman County State's Attorney Nici Meyer Clarkson said. "He is not following through with his suspension of hunting privileges."

The state charges against Anderson are misdemeanors, and a court hearing for him has been set for Feb. 14, she said.

Anderson did not immediately return telephone calls on Thursday. His attorney, Ralph Vinje, of Bismarck, was in Puerto Rico and could not be reached for comment, Vinje's secretary said.

In 2006, Anderson who ran the Stage Creek Hunting and Guide Service, pleaded guilty to charges of killing federally protected raptors, taking deer out of season and without a proper license, and helping hunters transport an illegal amount of pheasants out of state, prosecutors said.

He also guided hunters on private land, spotlighted cottontail rabbits, and participated in shooting shotguns from a moving vehicle at raptors, pheasants and deer, prosecutors said.

Anderson was ordered to pay $60,000 in fines and restitution and was ordered to forfeit hunting and outfitting privileges and hunting equipment, including five guns.

Authorities said at that time it was the largest total in fines and restitution assessed for wildlife-related crimes in North Dakota.

Anderson was sentenced in federal court to two years of supervised probation, including a period of home confinement. He was prohibited from hunting worldwide for two years and in North Dakota for six years, and was barred from possessing firearms for the rest of his life.

The recent charges stemmed from incidents from March 2006 to November 2007. Cox said two of the charges happened on the opening days of the deer season last year, when Anderson was spotted hunting and assisting other hunters, both in violation of his federal sentence.

Anderson has a farm next to a state wildlife area that is open to public hunting, Cox said. Anderson allegedly harassed hunters who were using the public hunting grounds, and in one instance, allegedly punched a hunter who had gone on Anderson's property to retrieve his bird dog, Cox said.

     

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