Wyoming Game & Fish nabs LaBarge elk poachers
by Wyoming Game and Fish
November 21, 2012
LABARGE - Two LaBarge residents were recently convicted of charges relating to the shooting and abandonment of several elk on private land west of LaBarge last fall.
On November 7, 2011, Daniel Recla and his son, Jesse Recla, of LaBarge, were on their way elk hunting up LaBarge Creek when they observed a herd of elk on private land near the road. The two fired at least 17 times and retrieved just one elk, although they knew additional elk likely had been shot.
Big Piney Game Warden Adam Hymas investigated the incident the following day and found an additional five elk had been shot and killed, all cows and calves. The investigation continued the following day by Warden Hymas and Kemmerer Game Warden Andy Countryman. Both Daniel and Jesse Recla were questioned and admitted to the crime.
Several charges were filed with the Lincoln County Circuit Court, including trespassing, shooting from the road, taking elk without licenses, waste of big game, and wanton destruction. Deputy County and Prosecuting Attorney Gregory Corpening then picked up the case and reached a plea agreement with Daniel and Jesse Recla.
On November 8, 2012, both individuals appeared before Lincoln County Circuit Court Judge Frank Zebre in Kemmerer. Jesse Recla pled guilty to shooting from a road and was sentenced $260, loss of hunting privileges for 2012, and probation for six months. Daniel Recla pled guilty to three counts of taking an elk without a license and one count of wanton destruction. Sentencing included a $5000 fine, $6000 in restitution, loss of hunting privileges for 16 years, 12 days in jail, and four years probation. Additionally, a .270 caliber rifle used in the crime was ordered to be forfeited to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
"Judge Zebre and County Attorney Corpening are to be commended for their work on this case and their dedication to the wildlife resource of Wyoming," said Hymas. "Once again, they are sending a clear message that wildlife violations are not to be taken lightly, especially when you have a dad taking his son out and breaking game laws."
Anyone with information on a possible poaching incident should call the STOP POACHING hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP (1-877-943-3847), any Game and Fish regional office, or any Game Warden. Information can also be reported through the hunting page of the Wyoming Game and Fish Departmentís web site at http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/home.aspx . Any information leading to an arrest and conviction may result in a reward of up to $5,000.00.