A stop poaching tip last November led to the recent conviction of a Shoshoni farm family for poaching a 5-by-4 mule deer buck near Missouri Valley.
Nathaniel Medow, 18, was charged with knowingly taking a buck mule deer during a closed season, also known as the "winter range statute." His parents, Robert and Sheila Medow were charged with accessory to knowingly taking a buck mule deer during a closed season.
The Medows pleaded guilty after a plea agreement was reached with the Fremont County District Attorney's Office. Ninth Circuit Court Judge Robert Denhardt accepted the agreement and sentenced the family May 28.
Nathan Medow, 18, was fined $5,000, with $3,000 suspended and ordered to pay $1,250 in restitution to the state of Wyoming for the deer. He was also assessed a 5-year revocation of hunting and fishing license privileges, a 10-day suspended jail sentence, one year unsupervised probation and $30 court costs.
Robert Medow, 48, was fined $5,000, assessed $1,250 in restitution and had his hunting and fishing license revoked for 5 years. He was also levied a 10-day suspended jail sentence, one year unsupervised probation and $30 court costs.
Sheila Medow, 47, was fined $5,000, with all but $500 suspended and her hunting and fishing license privileges were revoked for 2 years. She was also assessed 6 months unsupervised probation and $30 court costs.
The investigation began with a third-hand tip that the Medow's had taken a "nice" buck mule deer about a week after the 2002 season had closed. Game and Fish Department Wildlife Investigator Scott Browning and Riverton Game Warden Brad Gibb pieced together information and evidence that led them to the kill site in a cornfield.
The investigation revealed Nathan killed the deer Nov. 6, about a week after the season closed and that his father helped with the violation. Officers also discovered that Sheila tagged the deer, which sported 22.5-inch wide heavy antlers, with a general license purchased Nov. 7. Nathan and Bob's area 157 landowner licenses expired Oct. 31.
When approached by officers, Bob and Nathan were cooperative and confirmed the entire story. Bob told officers they saw "a lot of does, fawns and little bucks during the season" but had not seen a decent buck. In court, Bob admitted his violation was not the right thing to do and that the deer was not worth the money that they would pay in fines.
As a result of the Medow's cooperation in the case, a plea agreement was reached that greatly reduced the fines. The statute the family was charged under mandates a minimum $5,000 and a maximum $10,000 fine and revocation of license privileges for not less than five years.
The G&F will use the seized deer head for education or other department uses. The venison was previously donated by the Medows.
Anyone with information about a wildlife violation is urged to call the local game warden or the STOP POACHING Hotline at (800) 442-4331. Callers are eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to a conviction.