Father and Two Sons Sell Illegal Hunts on Craigslist

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Craigslist was the selling venue that three men from Douglas County, Colorado used to offer their hunting services. The Morrow family from Castle Rock, offered hunts for trophy elk and deer without a license, charging fees up to $3500 and an additional $2500 for a kill fee if a trophy animal was taken. The father and his sons, the Morrows, would purchase residential hunting licenses. They would then solicit clients, who wanted a trophy hunt in Colorado.

During the hunt, clients were accompanied by a member of the Morrow family who had a legal hunting license. The client would be offered an opportunity to kill an animal, which the Morrows would then falsely claim was killed by one of them. Gary Morrow admitted to the investigator that the men knew that what they were doing was illegal. Under Colorado law, only a legal license holder may shoot a game animal.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said Monday that Zachary Morrow was sentenced to two years' probation and fined nearly $22,000. Gary Morrow and Jacob Morrow were placed on two years' probation and fined more than $9,000. From Colorado DOW.

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More illegal hunts

http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/trv/3278853829.html

Check this out. I was looking for property to hunt on and came across this post. Hope he sets up and gets caught. You can get a legitimate place to stay for that kind of money.

Will_Hunt4Food's picture

Crime is dumb, defending criminals is dumber!

I'm glad I wasted my time reading the "True" story! All it did was convince me how guilty they all were and the person writing it is basing her opinion on emotions and not facts. "Law is reason free from passion" -Aristotle. That and she clearly doesn't understand how undercover police work and the laws and ethics invovled in how they work. She may use as many adjectives as she wants to describe the father, "hardworking, law abiding, ethical, caring and loving" but that doesn't negate the fact that the law was broken and he needed to be punished. Even if he chose to "Fall on the sword" for his children and purger himself to lighten their sentence, Perjury is misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in prison, he was admitting guilt. Case closed.

Colorado Wildlife Injustice – Is anyone interested in the truth?

I am writing this article because I know that there has been an incredible injustice done to a Colorado Native man, who used to have a great name in this fine State.  There was a time when the name Gary Morrow stood for pride, hardworking, law abiding, ethical, caring and loving Father and Family man.  Now, after a dishonest court case outcome Gary Morrow’s name has become synonymous with criminal, wildlife offender and guilty.  This is simply not true and should have NEVER happened!!

I would like to tell everyone about this incredible injustice to not only help clear Gary Morrow’s name, but to warn other parents and families that this can happen to them too (even if their kids are in their 20’s), and it is simply not fair. 

The basis of this entire story is with a court case that was filed in 2009.  Gary’s sons, who are extremely entrepreneurial, but with the economy being in such bad shape, had decided to offer up their own legal elk tag for that year to another hunter, forgoing their own hunting year in order to give someone a chance at a hunt of a lifetime.   Also, Gary’s youngest son shot an elk on their OWN property, with a legal tag, during the legal season that happened to have Gary’s name on it, while Gary was out of the Country and without his knowledge.   THAT was the “crime” that ended up dragging Gary Morrow’s good name through the proverbial internet mud.  The boys used their legal tags and sold it to A hunter (each of them) and guided these two hunters on the hunt of their life.   And one son shot an elk on opening day, legally, and put Gary’s legal tag on the bull.   

The true injustice was actually the fact that his oldest son’s hunter was an undercover agent.  This government agent actually went on the hunt, knowing it was an illegal hunt, ACTUALLY SHOT THE ELK (to make their case stronger), and then drank beer at the Ranch to celebrate and drove home.  Has anyone ever heard of an undercover cop posing as a hit man being hired to kill someone and then actually goes through with it and kills the victim just to make their case stronger …heavens no.  Gary’s boys realize what they did was wrong, and took responsibility for it from the beginning, but Gary had absolutely no choice. 

Gary was against his boys guiding hunters from the very beginning, and told the court and the DOW this on MANY occasions.  But, the DOW wanted to get Gary (the “Godfather” of hunting in their eyes), so basically told Gary he would have to plead the same deal as his boys or the DA was going to give his boys FELONIES which would take their hunting privileges away for life.  To Gary, family comes first, but for the DOW to make Gary choose to either fight for his own innocence or to help his boys to ensure they can hunt with their own children in the future was absolutely unbelievable.   Gary had everything needed in order to fight this case, and absolutely would have, and even went as far as to walk out of the court room because he couldn’t even get the word guilty out of his mouth.  But, being the good family man that he is, Gary chose to protect his sons and plead guilty for one misdemeanor with his sons. 

Is that what justice is supposed to be?  Plead guilty or we give your sons a stronger sentence.  That should NEVER happen.  The final outcome was not only the misdemeanor, but it was serious fines as well as all 3 Morrow’s having their hunting privileges taken away for 15 years.  Gary is 55 years old and now cannot even go fishing with his family.  Gary is an upstanding citizen, and has even acquired a concealed weapon permit after this all happened, which requires a serious background check and is not just given to anyone.  Gary can carry a concealed weapon, but cannot carry a fishing pole to his favorite fishing hole.  WHAT? 

Here is where it gets really bad.  The DOW decided to make an example of this case and wrote an article on their Colorado Wildlife Parks website.  They wrote, “Three Douglas County men who were caught reselling Colorado big-game licenses…”  (Gary never sold his tag) they wrote, “…officers showed that the three men, a father and two sons, advertised guided big-game hunts on the popular internet marketplace in 2009 and 2010…”  (Again, Gary never advertised, and it was only the 2009 season.)   Once this article was published it was picked up NOT by 1, 2, or 3 sites, but 18,000 different news sites.  Of course the quotes were not the exact same as what was written in the DOW website.  Some sites stated, “3 fined for selling hunts,”  “a father and his son’s plead guilty for criminal activity.”   It went on and on.  The bottom line is that Gary Morrow’s good name has forever been tarnished. 

It is absurd that due to the DOW strong arming Gary, he will not be able to do the one thing he loves more than anything which is hunt and fish with his family.  The fact that the internet can publish stories, based on an untruth written originally by the DOW, and publish it across the world is unbelievable as well.  The bottom line is that Gary had nothing to do with his son’s hunts, did not profit from them in anyway, and was against it completely when he even found out about it after the fact.  And to put Gary responsible for one of his son’s shooting an elk on their own property while Gary was out of the Country is also absurd. 

I urge news media to pick up THIS story, and publish it in 18,000 different sites.  THIS story is actually true.  Beware families, as it appears that government entities allow for blackmailing in order to make an example and to justify their time and energy spent in an investigation (over 2 years in this case) that never needed to go as far as it did. 

COMeatHunter's picture

Truth isn't relative!  You're

Truth isn't relative!  You're guilty of breaking the law, you got caught and were punished.  STOP WHINING and post this trash somewhere else.

Family knew what they were doing was Illegal

This gentleman and his family admitted that what they had done was illegal!!  Collecting money from others that lived out of state, they did not have outfitting or guide licenses, and all that they got was a slap on the wrist..  For this crime they should be spending some time in prison and lose all of their hunting privileges for life along with their guns!!

They may be a great family,but what they did was totally illegal and as for the undercover officer,he had to go through with the whole thing in order to make the prosecution stick, against these people.  They are what is giving hunters a bad name.

Unbelievable

These articles are so ridiculous and one-sided.  If you would like to know the truth read this:

First, the Morrow family is a close, loving, ethical, proud family who happens to love hunting, which has been passed down for generations.  (AND THEY JUST HAPPEN TO BE INCREDIBLE, ETHICAL HUNTERS!)  After generations, Jake and Zach, both being very entrepreneurial, looked into offering guides since they knew they were able to get hunters to big game animals that some hunters may not see in their lifetime.  In 2009, with the economy being in such bad shape, they decided to offer up their own legal tag for that year (not allowing them to hunt that year, but to allow someone else to use their ONE tag to possibly get an animal of a lifetime).  THAT and ONLY THAT was the crime that everyone is speaking about.  They used their legal tag and sold it to A hunter (each of them) and guided these two hunters on the hunt of their life.  (THE BEST PART OF THIS WHOLE THING IS THAT ONE OF THE TWO HUNTERS WAS ACTUALLY AN UNDERCOVER GAME WARDEN AND HE WAS THE ONE THAT ACTUALLY SHOT THE ANIMAL! He certainly did not need to do that, nor did he need to drink beer to celebrate after and then drive home.)  They plead guilty for this one misdemeanor, paid their fines, and did their community service.  THAT WAS IT!  But, the DOW decided they wanted to try to bury the Morrow family by bringing their own DAD into this whole process.  Just because the boys happen to take their game to their own Dad’s ranch, and because Gary has always helped his sons hunt when he could (even though he had nothing to do with these two hunts).  Gary had even heard about his boys doing this well after their hunts were booked and told them it was a very bad idea and they should not do it.  Not to mention the family would not be able to hunt together that year, which never happened until 2009.  But, the DOW wanted to get the whole family, so basically told Gary he would have to plea the same deal as his boys or they were going to give his own boys felonies or a much stiffer sentence.  He agreed, even though there was no evidence that he had anything to do with it.  As a matter of fact there were false statements made that are now being looked into with the Case that Gary filed after the guilty pleas where completed.  Gary’s hands were tied and he was basically blackmailed to plead guilty because his hands were tied and he is a FATHER first and did not want his boys to go without hunting with their children later in life.  Gary had to wait until that case was finalized before getting the actual truth out.  Now his hands aren’t tied and the truth will be set free!!  They are talking about 3 separate elk here, one of which was shot on Gary’s property while Gary was in Cabo on a cruise.  How on earth should Gary pay for that when his son shot the elk on his own property with a legal tag, for the season?  Families have been known for years to let someone in the family shoot and put which ever tag is legal on the animal (whoever’s name is on it).  Everyone knows it happens even though it is also against the law, but really, are we just getting ridiculous?  Every time I hear the words poaching, criminals, or this has been going on for years, it just makes my stomach sick.  The truth will come out and it will certainly not reflect well on the DOW!!

COMeatHunter's picture

Ethical?!?

INCREDIBLE!  That is a word I would use to describe your comments.  Incredibly stupid!  I could also use the word RIDICULOUS, but I think incredible is slightly better.

How in the world can you twist the definition of "ethical" to fit the very scenario you describe above?  The truth is, what these brothers did was ILLEGAL.  PERIOD!  You cannot take money from someone to hunt with your tag.  All tags in the state of Colorado are non-transferrable.  That means another family member, a friend, an acquaintance, a total stranger from out of state, anyone other than the person written on the license can not hunt with that tag.  Add to that no guide or outfitters license and you have another ILLEGAL and unethical action.  If the father wasn't involved, then he shouldn't have admitted to any guilt.  It's not doing any favors to his sons to take the rap let alone his saintly reputation as an ethical hunter.

With your example of ethical, I know a few used car salesmen that would love to sell you a perfectly good, almost brand new car with an unlimited lifetime warranty.  After all, the economy isn't too good for used cars right now and if they need to offer such a warranty (with no intention of honoring it) to sell cars, well that's OK and still ethical.  Right?  Never mind the car breaks down a week later and the salesman gives you the cold shoulder.

Here's what's legal.  YOU buy a license.  YOU hunt with YOUR license.  YOU harvest the animal on the license during the season that's written on the license (that means YOU are the actual person pulling the trigger).  YOU punch YOUR tag and remove all edible portions of meat from the field.  YOU give meat to family and friends (or perfect strangers from out of state) to enjoy, with a letter of donation, if needed.  Hunting in this fashion is legal, honest, ethical, and fun.  

Pretty clear to me.  Pull your head out and realize a crime was committed.  And the boys should feel lucky to have not lost their hunting priviledges for life.  I said it before in my comment--if you can't play by the rules then you shouldn't be allowed to play at all.  If you don't like the rules, then do something to change them legitimately, call your state representative, attend DOW meetings and bring up your concerns, write letters to the state wildlife commission, etc.  But if you decide to just break the rules because you don't agree with them, be willing to accept the penalties that come along as baggage.  Go peddle you crap arguments somewhere else.

Thanks.

hunter25's picture

Here's another case that just

Here's another case that just amazes me. I have said over and over that hopefully poachers will get the message by the fines and punishment given to others but that obviously will never happen. Teh thought of a quick buck will blind people to the belief that they will get caught I guess. But to openly and brazenly do it the way they were  shows just how stupid they can get while doing it.

The punishment doesn't seem like nearly enough deterrent in this one though to get the attention of others pulling the same illegal activities.

ndemiter's picture

i fully understand that are

i fully understand that are legal systems are overrun with perpetrators, and that the jails are packed full... but when you have people that do non-violent crimes, i agree with probabtion. i just think in this case their fines should have been serious ($10k for each offense) and they should lose privileges under the wildlife violators compact (in most states) for life.

i think that the fines should get paid directly to the game and fish department instead of it going to the state corrections board and then to be destributed (which is how it works here, i think)

it looks like they were tricking people into "landowner" tags that were "transferable" which is too bad that the clients didn't catch on once they killed an animal.

this kind of thing is just sad.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

I got the more and more

I got the more and more recently newsleetr email from DOW referring to this article.  My draw about hit the floor when I saw were they admitted they knew what they were doing was wrong and that they only get two years probation.  Thety should have to do some jail time for knowingly breaking the law.  To boot they will most likely lose there priledges for up to 5 years...just a guess on my part.  But the one one kid did break the Samson Law so he could possibly lose it for life.  Just have heard alot about poaching lately but not alot of people lossing the privledge for life.  I hope they do collect all the monies and I do hope they get some serious loos of time from hunting.  I still the that jail time would almost be more effective that than loss of hunting time.  throw them in jail for 2 years and see if they wanna try poaching again.  just taking away their privleges is not gonna stop them from going and shooting something out of season or with out a tag.  They will just be more sneaky about it.

COMeatHunter's picture

I'm glad they were caught too

I'm glad these jerks were caught too.  I hope they collect every penny of the fines and completely revoke their hunting priviliedges for life.  Can't play by the rules then you shouldn't get to play.

deerhunter30's picture

I am glad that these people

I am glad that these people were caught and delt with. hopefully other pochers see this and think twice about trying to do something wrong out in the woods.

Wonder how long these people got away with it? You think these people who went on the hunts would think it was a li9ttle weird and question it a little bit when the guide would say that he harvested the animal.

Maybe that is how they were found out.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Yes, these people are

 

Yes, these people are criminals and I do agree that their punishment really doesn't pursuade another from breaking the law.  When I received this article from Co Parks and Wildlife I had to send it to BGH for their review and possible posting. 

I think the more attention this stuff gets the more likely we will eventually push and attain harsher fines.  Part of the issue in my opinion is our current definition of the charge.  The three criminals were each charged with aggravated illegal possession of wildlife.  The "Aggravated" part meaning three or more animals were found.  Personally I think it should be lowered to two animals as having more than one illegally possessed animal means you are habitual.  Then as more animals are included or found a far larger stepped fine or mandatory jail time is required.  Just my opinion.  Luckily we have the "Samson surcharge" in effect as $10,000 was added to total fine because of the trophy bull elk that he had possession of.  Unfortunately to save time and money several of the felony charges were dropped for this plea bargain.

What is incredible is that this was a father and his two sons.  Nice parenting skills there on teaching ethics and values!  Not!  They had been doing this for years so they were making based on their prices a pretty good amount of "extra" spending money.  Probably more than the fines totaled.  They are still up for a hearing later to suspend their hunting privelidges so hopefully a very long suspension is given and that helps dissuade other poachers.  These three criminals also received 75 hours of volunteer services towards a wildlife agency.  I do like that part of their sentences as it gives back towards what they stole from.

 

 

 

 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Boy, talk about getting

Boy, talk about getting ballsy.  You would have to think that any logical person would know that someone would figure out what they are doing.  But then again, maybe poachers are not the most reputable bunch anyway.

I would think that the clients who paid to go elk hunting, would start to wonder why the guide or other family member was trying to say he shot the animal.  Not sure on CO laws, if they need to physically check the animal or not.  So, maybe it was done after the fact, long after the hunter had headed home with his trophy.

I see lots of stuff like this offered over Craigslist, and even though I have never been truly tempted to call, I am always curious.  Some of the hunts sound too good to be true.  I guess the moral of the story would be to always check with the proper authorities about the legality of your hunt. Alot of places have confusing regulations, but that's all the more reason to call Fish & Game instead of trusting someone off of craigslist.

Glad to see they got some punishment.  Not good enough in my opinion, but it's a start.

SGM's picture

These are the twisted folks

These are the twisted folks that hurt honest hunters every day and our beloved sport. I think they got off light. Their hunting and fishing privileges should have been revoked for life to include all reciprocal states with Colorado. They admitted doing wrong but only stopped when caught, pathetic!

numbnutz's picture

Wow!! they admitted to wrong

Wow!! they admitted to wrong doing and only got 2 years probation and a pretty small fine by my standards. Its because of light punishment that stuff like this continues to happen. When will law enforcement and the courts wake up and put an end to this illegal poaching of these trophy animals. If they want this to stop they need to make the punishment alot harsher other wise its just a slap on the hand and the poachers will be back at it again only smater and covering there butts not to get caught. there is legislation in Oregon now to raise the minimum fines as well as mandatory jail time for illegal taking trophy animals. I hope it passes and its enforced. There have been to many stoires lately about stuff like this and it needs to stop. after all us who fallow the laws and pay for all of out licence and tags are having our trophy animals taken right away from us, and i dont feel like enough is being done to stop it, I'm not sure how much more prevention can be done but when someone get caught the courts could start making an example to the rst of the poachers oout there and maybe they'll think twice abouut it. Sorry for the rant, this just makes me mad.