Wyoming family accused of illegal hunting operation

2011-10-16T23:45:00Z 2011-10-17T00:09:31Z Wyoming family accused of illegal hunting operation

By JEREMY PELZER

Casper Star-Tribune

The Billings Gazette
October 16, 2011 11:45 pm  • 

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Several members of a ranching family near Ten Sleep could face decades of jail time and millions in fines for allegedly allowing out-of-state hunters to tag wildlife with their Wyoming landowner hunting permits, according to a federal indictment.

Richard “R.C.” Carter, owner of Big Horn Adventure Outfitters, allegedly took more than a dozen hunters out on his family’s property from 2003 to 2009 to kill elk, deer and antelope.

Richard Carter Sr. and Mark Carter — R.C.’s father and younger brother respectively — allegedly used their own tags on the animals shot and falsely claimed in affidavits that they killed them.

R.C. and Mark Carter then helped to transport the animals back to the hunters’ homes in other states in violation of federal law, the indictment alleges.

R.C. Carter charged between $3,000 and $7,500 per hunter and/or per hunt for his services, not including tips, according to the indictment. However, the indictment states that Carter occasionally bartered or exchanged guided hunts for advertising, client referrals and guided fishing trips.

The Carters procured so many landowner tags, the indictment states, because in 2004 they subdivided their property into eight 160-acre parcels, so that they and members of their family could receive a landowner elk and antelope license for each parcel.

If convicted, R.C. and Mark Carter each could face up to 55 years in prison as well as fines of up to $2,750,000.

Richard Carter Sr. could receive up to five years in prison, as well as a $250,000 fine.

R.C. Carter declined comment, saying he didn’t want to discuss the case before talking with his lawyer.

Two hunters who hired R.C. Carter as a guide, Steve Farah and Matt Robinson, were also indicted for allegedly shooting wildlife without a license and illegally transporting the animals back to their home state of Oregon. Robinson was accompanied by his father, James, who was previously indicted.

Farah could receive up to 15 years in prison, as well as a $750,000 fine, if convicted; Matt Robinson could face up to 10 years’ prison time and a $500,000 fine.

The case is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 9 in Casper.

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