Grand Junction man gets jail time, fine for wildlife violations

A Grand Junction man with a history of wildlife violations will spend a year in jail for his latest infractions.

Jonathan H. Gilbert, 29, was sentenced on Jan. 8 in Garfield County District Court to one year in the Department of Corrections and fined $952 after being caught last January illegally shooting at a bobcat decoy near Baxter Pass.

Gilbert pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon by a previous offender and to unlawfully hunting with artificial light, according to court records and the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

The January 2009 incident was the second time Gilbert was ticketed for similar charges. He was ticketed in April of 2008 for unlawfully hunting bobcat without a license and unlawfully hunting with artificial light.

In that incident, also in Garfield County, he was fined $492 and penalized 35 suspension points.

Gilbert has had other encounters with wildlife officers. In May 2003, he was ticketed for fishing without a license and unlawful possession of wildlife. In July 2003, he was ticketed for unlawfully hunting without a big-game license and unlawfully hunting with artificial light.

Because of those 2003 violations, the Division of Wildlife suspended Gilbert’s hunting privileges for three years.

DOW spokesman Randy Hampton said the bobcat decoy operation was in response to an increase in poaching activity around Baxter Pass.

“Prices for bobcat pelts have gone up in recent years and, because of that, we’ve seen an increase in poaching activity,” Hampton said. “It all has to do with the price of pelts, and we’ve seen them as high as $500 in recent years.”

Gilbert also has had numerous run-ins with Mesa County Animal Services and has been issued citations for animal cruelty, neglect, unregistered dogs and dogs at large.


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