Unlawful Bighorn Harvest Draws Fine

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A Las Vegas hunter who unlawfully harvested a bighorn sheep has received minimal fines because he willingly reported his violation to game wardens, according to the Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW).

Fred Henson, NDOW game warden, said the hunter was lawfully hunting desert bighorn sheep on Nov. 9 when he fired at a ram sheep at a range of approximately 75 yards. Thinking that his shot had missed the bighorn, he then fired several seconds later at what he believed was the same animal. Moments after the second shot had hit its mark, he discovered that he had killed another ram with his first shot.

Henson said the hunter, who was hunting near Beatty, field dressed both animals and contacted NDOW to report the incident. He was met by Henson at a Las Vegas meat processing firm where he was given a citation for hunting bighorn sheep without having a hunting tag.

The hunter pled guilty to the charge in Clark County District Court and was given minimal penalties for his violation. He was fined $250 for hunting bighorn sheep without a hunting tag, assessed $70 in court costs and paid a $250 civil penalty.

"In this case it appears that the hunter unintentionally harvested two animals. He felt very badly about what he had done and readily came forward to report his error, so his penalties were minimal. He did the right thing by coming forward," Henson said.

Henson said hunters who make errors while in the field should report those errors immediately by contacting a game warden or Operation Game Thief at (800) 992-3030.

The horns and cape from the illegally harvested animal were given to the visitor's center at Red Rock Canyon for educational purposes. The hunter paid for the meat to be processed and it was donated to the Beatty Senior Center.