Not long after a New York state hunting guide was sentenced on poaching charges, this week another guide, this time in Kansas, had pleaded guilty to strikingly similar charges.
Josh Hedges of Grenola, Kansas pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and violating the Migratory Bird Treaty.
As the owner of Eagle Head Outfitters, the 35-year old admitted to ordering his guides to bait ponds to attract waterfowl, helping hunters exceed daily bag limits and for refusing to follow both Federal and State laws for tagging, processing and transporting birds.
Prohibiting the trade of fish, wildlife or plants that have been taken illegally, Hedges and his accomplice Jared Stroot, were each slapped with fines and license suspensions.
Hedges was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Restitution Fund. Additionally, he has been sentenced to five years of probation and is forbidden to hunt, fish, guide or trap for a 12-year period.
Stroot, who helped Hedges bait the waterfowl on a number of occasions was slapped with a $5,000 fine, five years if probation in which his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges will be revoked.
All said, Hedges admitted to the following infractions:
- Placing corn, wheat and soybeans around ponds as bait for waterfowl.
- Helping hunters to exceed their daily bag limits by offering to say they shot some of the birds the hunters shot.
- Failing to tag, process and transport birds as required by state and federal law.
In addition, Hedges admitted that he shot a hawk from his vehicle while sitting on a county road near Grenola.