A Pueblo, Colorado resident was recently sentenced on 12 misdemeanor counts in Dawson County and 8 misdemeanor counts in McCone County. The counts range from outfitting without a Montana license, outfitting on FWP Block Management ranches, littering and solicitation by advising undercover agents to trespass on private land on two ranches with no landowner permission.
Earl Nicholas Wood, age 63 was sentenced to one year in Dawson County Correctional Facility for each count and the sentence is to run concurrently. One year imprisonment in the Dawson County jail was suspended on condition. The conditions of Defendant's one year suspended sentence are as follows: 1) the Defendant cannot violate any fish and game laws in the state of Montana; or, any other state. 2) all fines, restitution and surcharges be paid by the defendant within 60 days of March 8, 2011. Wood was also ordered to pay $300.00 in surcharges to district court. He was found guilty of illegally outfitting in Montana without a license for counts 1 – 4 which occurred September 1 – 21, 2008 and counts 5 – 12 which occurred September 1 – 20, 2009.
A plea agreement was reached changing two original felony counts of outfitting without a license to the 12 misdemeanor charges. The record shows he was outfitting on private and public land managed under Fish, Wildlife and Parks Block Management Program. A concerned landowner alerted authorities to possible illegal outfitting on Block Management ranches.
FWP responded to the complaint and two undercover investigators hunted with Wood in September of 2009. Their investigation resulted in the charges and successful prosecution of the case in cooperation with the county attorneys.
Wood was fined $1,430.00 in McCone County and $4,000 for counts 1 – 4 and $4,000 for counts 5- 12 in Dawson County District Court on March 8, 2011. Restitution was set at $2,000 and he lost his privilege to hunt and fish for 5 years in 36 states participating in the Wildlife Violator Compact. He was also banned from outfitting and/or guiding for life.