WV: Two Convicted of Violating New WV Hunting Law
July 30, 2010
Two Convicted of Violating New WV Hunting Law Aurora, W.Va.
Two people have been convicted of violating a new wildlife law the West
Virginia Legislation passed this year.
A Preston County man and a Tucker County juvenile are the first persons
charged and convicted with violating a wildlife law passed this year by the
West Virginia Legislature.
Division of Natural Resources Police Officers Sgt. Gary Johnson and
Officer Josh Rhodes charged 22-year-old Mike A. Chapman from Aurora, West
Virginia and an unnamed Tucker County juvenile in Preston County magistrate
court in July 2010.
Both were charged and convicted of spotlighting, carrying loaded firearm
in a vehicle and illegal killing of wildlife. The deer was killed in the
Aurora area of Preston County and had antlers in velvet that measured almost
16 inches at the widest point.
Fines, court costs and replacement costs totaled $2,414.80. In addition,
the two are required to perform several hours of community service.
The new law, which went into effect in June, provides that additional
replacement costs be collected from persons who are convicted of illegally
killing wildlife, with the additional costs being based on the antler size
of an illegally killed deer. The old law provided for a $200 replacement
cost for all deer that were illegally killed regardless of antler size.
Persons who are convicted of illegally killing a deer are still assessed
the $200 replacement costs. If the deer has antlers in which the main beams
measured at the widest point equals 14 inches but less than 16 inches, the
replacement is $1,000; 16 inches and less than 18 inches is $1,500; 18
inches but less than 20 inches is $2,000; and greater than 20 inches is
"The purpose of the enhanced replacement costs is to act as an additional
deterrent to slow the illegal killing of deer that are considered to be
trophies and that are a valuable natural resource of this state," says DNR
Law Enforcement Section Chief David Murphy. "Many people come to West
Virginia to hunt for trophy whitetails. They spend a lot of money in our
state, purchasing licenses, eating in our restaurants, buying food, gasoline
and other items at stores and staying in motels, and they have every right
to expect that resource to be protected from poachers.".
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