New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact: Karl Moffatt: (505) 476-8007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 1, 2017:
Illegal possession of elk antlers leads to stiff fine
SILVER CITY – A judge has ordered a Silver City man to pay the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish $4,000 for illegal possession of a set of trophy elk antlers.
Hidalgo County Magistrate Mark Thomas issued the judgement in a recent civil case against Michael C. Aguirre, 40, of Silver City, according to court records.
Antlers that include any portion of the animal such as the skull plate or head must be accompanied by proof of legal possession, such as the original hunting permit or tag, Duncan said.
After the local district attorney’s office declined to prosecute the criminal case, Duncan filed it in magistrate civil court, where he won the judgement. Due to the trophy size of the elk head Officer Duncan was able to enhance the civil penalty to $4000.
Conservation officers may file a civil action in any court of jurisdiction for the trophy value of a game animal or bird provided that the evidence and information indicate that the game was killed or possessed out of season, taken with the aid of artificial light, taken without a proper license, exceeded the bag limit or resulted in waste of game.
“We’re glad the state will be reimbursed for the loss of this trophy elk,” Duncan said.
For more information about wildlife laws please visit the department’s website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.