Subscribe for 17¢ / day

SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials say the quick actions of father-and-son ranch partners Ed and Troy Swartz made it possible to track down and convict a mule deer poacher this past winter.

Marty R. Greger, 39, of Moyers, Okla., pleaded guilty to several counts of poaching and was sentenced Dec. 22, according to a Game and Fish media release.

On the evening of Oct. 4, the Swartzes heard a rifle shot from the direction of Collins Road near their ranch northwest of Gillette.

They immediately drove to the county road and confronted the occupants of a commercial pipeline welding truck. The two occupants of the truck refused to give their names, but the ranchers noted a .300 Ultra-Magnum rifle and a 9mm handgun inside their truck. The driver gave a story about shooting at a snake on the road.

Ed Swartz called 911 and gave the dispatcher a thorough description of the vehicle, including the license plate number, and its occupants.

Troy Swartz, with the help of his dogs, located a freshly shot buck mule deer. He recognized the deer as the same buck that he and Ed had observed recently.

Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Kim Jones contacted north Gillette game warden Troy Achterhof. She informed him of the incident and stated that deputies Murel Brink and Martin Spencer had located the suspects’ vehicle at a camp trailer site in Prospector Village. Achterhof interviewed the driver of the truck, Marty Greger.

Greger said he was working on the Bison Pipeline as a contracted pipeline welder. He said he talked his co-worker, nicknamed “T-Bone,” into taking backroads home to Gillette that evening. Greger began with his snake story, but, when confronted with the facts of the case, admitted to shooting the buck mule deer.

He said several deer had crossed Collins Road and were illuminated by his headlights. Greger had a nonresident deer license, but had failed to tag the deer. After shooting the deer and being confronted by the ranchers, he decided to leave it.

The Remington .300 Ultra-Magnum rifle that Greger used to take the deer was recovered from a neighbor’s camp trailer that night.

A plea bargain agreement was reached, and Greger came back to Gillette from Oklahoma and was sentenced in front of Campbell County Circuit Judge Wendy Bartlett. Greger pleaded guilty to taking big game from a motor vehicle, taking wildlife with artificial light and waste or abandonment of big game.

He was sentenced to pay $5,360 in fines and restitution, 18 months unsupervised probation and loss of hunting privileges for three years. He also forfeited the scoped Remington Model 700 .300 Ultra Magnum rifle that he used to shoot the deer.