Poaching conviction nets thousands in fines for Douglas County family
October 4, 2011
By Rhonda Moore, OurColoradoNews.com
Accused acted as hunting guides for unlicensed hunters
Three Douglas County men were convicted of illegal possession of
wildlife following a year-long investigation by Colorado Parks and
Wildlife officials. The three are family members who were advertising
illegal hunts on the online trading post Craigslist.com.
In an investigation triggered by a tipster, parks and wildlife
investigators found that Gary Morrow, 55 and Jacob Morrow, 28, both of
Sedalia, and Zachary Morrow, 24, of Highlands Ranch, were advertising
illegal hunts on Craigslist.com, offering the use of their hunting
licenses to paying clients, according to the Colorado Parks and
Investigators say Gary Morrow and his two sons advertised big-game
2009 and 2010, offering clients a chance to hunt trophy Colorado elk and
deer without a license for fees of up to $3,500. Clients were assessed
an additional “kill fee” of up to $2,500 if a trophy animal was taken
during a hunt.
Brothers Zachary and Jacob Morrow would act as salesmen, finding and
closing agreements with clients, using trophy heads in Gary Morrow’s
Sedalia residence as inducement to book a hunt. During the
investigation, one of the Morrows sent photographs of an illegally-taken
bull elk to an undercover investigator in an effort to sell a hunt.
Clients who bought a hunt were guided during the hunt by a member of
the Morrow family who had a legal hunting license. The client would be
given the chance to kill an animal, which the Morrows would claim as
their kill. The investigation disclosed the men sold hunts to two
people, both from Colorado. The buyers were taken on hunting expeditions
in the Sedalia and Larkspur areas, investigators said.
During the investigation, Gary Morrow admitted the three men knew
that what they were doing was illegal. In Colorado, it is against the
law to hunt without a valid license and it is illegal to allow a third
party to use a hunting license issued to someone else.
In a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Zachary Morrow was
sentenced to two years of probation and fined $21,837. Morrow’s fine
included a $10,000 Samson surcharge because one of the illegally-taken
elk was a trophy bull. Zachary Morrow was forced to surrender bull elk
heads and ordered to perform 75 hours of volunteer service with a
wildlife-related agency. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors
dropped seven additional charges, including three felonies.
Gary and Jacob Morrow reached an agreement for two years of
probation, fined $9,247, surrendered their trophy bull elk heads and
ordered to perform 75 hours of volunteer service with a wildlife-related
agency. In exchange for their guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped multiple
poaching-related charges, including four felonies.
The Morrows face suspension of their hunting and fishing licenses for
a period of one year to life. The suspension hearing before the Colorado
Parks and Wildlife examiner will take place at a later date.
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