South Dakota residents plead guilty in 2017 Wyoming poaching case

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GILLETTE — The second of two South Dakota residents pleaded guilty to being an accessory to the illegal taking of a buck mule deer in Wyoming in November 2017.

The case began with an anonymous call received by Newcastle Game Warden Troy Achterhof on the night of Nov. 2, 2017.

The caller stated that occupants in a white Dodge pickup with South Dakota license plates had just shot at a buck mule deer on the School Creek Road southeast of Wright in Deer Hunt Area 10.

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The area is a limited quota hunt area with just 100 antlered deer licenses issued in 2017 and the mule deer season in this area had closed for the year on Oct. 16.

The next day, Achterhof, joined by South Gillette Game Warden Dustin Kirsch, traveled to the area to search for the subjects. Around 7:30 a.m., the wardens heard a gunshot nearby and saw a vehicle matching the report from the previous evening.

Achterhof and Kirsch stopped the vehicle and identified the occupants as Forrest Schramm of Hot Springs, S.D. and Jared Frasier of Custer, S.D. After a short interview, both subjects admitted to attempting to take a mule deer buck.

Schramm then accompanied Kirsch to the scene of the crime and Kirsch located the buck mule deer that had been shot by Schramm, lying in the snow paralyzed. At this point, Schramm was placed under arrest for intentionally taking an antlered big game animal without a license and during a closed season.

Kirsch euthanized the buck mule deer and drove back to meet with Achterhof and Frasier.  When Kirsch returned, Frasier was also placed under arrest as an accessory to the crime. Both suspects were transported by Campbell County sheriff’s deputies to the detention center in Gillette.

Wardens Achterhof and Kirsch continued their investigation and determined the buck mule deer had been wounded on Nov. 2 by a shot from Schramm’s rifle.

They also discovered that in the hours it laid in a paralyzed state, the mule deer had suffered repeated puncture wounds, likely inflicted by another buck.

After finishing the necropsy of the buck mule deer, Kirsch returned to Gillette and began a consent search of Schramm’s pickup truck. Inside the vehicle, Kirsch discovered four firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, various hunting gear and four unused 2017 South Dakota deer licenses issued to Schramm.

On April 4, 2018 Schramm pleaded guilty to intentionally taking a buck mule deer during a closed season/without a license, using an illegal firearm cartridge for taking big game and shooting from a public road. He was assessed fines and restitution of $9,525 and forfeited a Remington .22-250 rifle with a Zeiss scope.

On Aug. 9, 2018, Frasier pleaded guilty as an accessory to intentionally taking a buck mule deer during a closed season/without a license. He was assessed fines and restitution of $6,555.

In addition, both men lost their privilege to hunt, fish or trap in Wyoming and 46 other Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact states for three years.

About the WGFD

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department manages and conserves more than 800 species of fish and wildlife across Wyoming.

For nearly 120 years, we’ve carried out our mission to conserve wildlife and serve people. Through these efforts, the Wyoming Game and Fish

Department ensures the public continues to enjoy Wyoming’s vast fish and wildlife resource  through  hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife watching and other forms of outdoor recreation. Hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers contribute over a billion dollars to Wyoming’s economy each year.