CHEYENNE — Poachers who repeatedly kill big game animals in Wyoming could face felony charges under a bill moving through the state Legislature.
The Wyoming House of Representatives on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would make a third conviction for poaching elk, bighorn sheep and other big game animals within a 10-year period a felony punishable by up to two years in prison.
Supporters say poachers are coming into Wyoming to kill trophy animals without regard for the state's existing misdemeanor poaching penalties. A conviction under existing law can result in fines of up to $10,000 and loss of guns and vehicles.
Lyman Republican Rep. Allen Jaggi says that while losing vehicles and guns may cost a poacher $50,000, some trophy heads can sell for far more.