Three men pay up for destructive behavior
Three California men, including the owner of a outdoor-based clothing company, have paid multiple fines after pleading guilty to numerous wildlife violations in Colorado and New Mexico dating back to 2011.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the men — alleged ringleader Anthony Bauer, 35, of Palm Desert, Calif., Frank D’Anna, 29, of San Diego, and Hank Myll, 33, of Palm Desert — also face the possible loss of their hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado, California and 40 other states.
After a two-year investigation by Parks and Wildlife, it was found the men hunted on private property without permission and illegally killed an elk, nine mule deer, one turkey and a blue grouse.
The three men accepted a plea bargain in Rio Blanco County Court in late February and avoided possible jail time for their violations.
According to the report, the poachers several times removed only the head, cape and antlers from an animal or abandoned the entire animal, leaving the meat to waste.
“These individuals showed complete disregard for the wildlife laws of several states in a brazen and arrogant manner,” said Ron Velarde, Northwest Region manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Citizens have every reason to be outraged by their destructive behavior, and we, along with the other agencies we worked with on this case, are satisfied to see that these individuals have been brought to justice.”
Bauer is the owner of Live2Die, an outdoor-themed hat and clothing company based in Palm Desert. The company’s website is where investigators discovered incriminating photos, which were removed from the site under the terms of the plea bargain.
“Ironically, it was the discovery of two hats emblazoned with the company’s logo found hidden in some brush on private property near two poached deer that led us to these individuals,” said Bill de Vergie, Parks and Wildlife area wildlife manager in Meeker. “The landowner found the hats and let District Wildlife Manager Jon Wangnild know right away. It once again shows how important the public’s help can be in bringing violators to justice.”
Wangnild did not live to see the case resolved. He died in June last year from injuries sustained in a horseback-riding accident.
Bauer was convicted of willful destruction of big-game wildlife, a felony in Colorado, along with four counts of hunting without a valid deer license and illegal take of a mule deer.
He was ordered to pay $5,754 in fines, make a $10,000 donation to the Meeker Sportsman’s Club and forfeit all evidence seized, including hunting gear and personal computers.
Bauer also pleaded guilty to illegally killing a bull elk in New Mexico.
As part of his plea, Bauer was ordered to return to New Mexico the illegally taken elk mount, a mule deer mount and a Barbary sheep mount .
Myll was fined $1,942.50 after pleading guilty to hunting mule deer without a valid license and illegally killing a mule deer.
D’Anna was fined $2,264.50 for hunting blue grouse without a license, hunting mule deer without a license, illegal take of a blue grouse, illegal take of a mule deer and hunting on private property without permission.
De Vergie said officers and investigators from Colorado, New Mexico and California, along with a forensics laboratory in Wyoming, contributed to solving this case.
Several other men allegedly involved in illegal hunting with Bauer, D’Anna and Myll are being investigated and face possible charges in New Mexico, according to the Parks and Wildlife report.