A California man has learned his fate for poaching a massive blacktail deer in Sacramento County.
John Frederick Kautz, of Lodi, will spend two days in jail, be placed on three years probation with a search and seizure clause, be banned from hunting during that three-year probationary stint and pay a $5,000 fine. The 51-year-old was also forced to surrender the poached deer head he had mounted.
The sentence was the result of a “no contest” plea deal. Kautz was facing misdemeanor charges for possession of an illegally poached deer and falsification of deer tag reporting information.
Kautz killed the buck in Dec. of 2016, two months after deer season ended. To avoid getting caught, he drove his trophy to a taxidermist in Nevada. He even had plans to enter it into the Safari Club International hunting record book.
Thankfully, though, Kautz plan for fame and glory was foiled. A responsible hunter submitted a tip to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in Sept. of 2017. Officers looked at the information provided and then the hunt to catch the poacher was on.
From the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife News:
Wildlife Officers Sean Pirtle and Anthony Marrone spent an exhaustive three months on the investigation, collecting evidence that would prove the year-old incident was an act of poaching. Through extensive interviews, multiple search warrants and forensic analysis of computer records, and with the help of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Computer Crimes Unit, they slowly pieced together the puzzle. Then, collaborating with Nevada game wardens who conducted multiple follow-up interviews outside of California, they worked together in an attempt to track down the actual deer that had been mounted by the Nevada taxidermist.
Glad they got their guy. In a statement, David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Law Enforcement Division Chief, thanked the responsible hunter who outed Kautz. He also cited new legislation enacted in July of 2017 that allows authorities to slap poachers who target “trophy class” animals with heavy fines.
“We are also pleased how the newly effective legislation and regulations package helped increase the penalties in this case to hopefully deter others from the same poaching behavior,” said Bess. “A case like this is exactly why this package was enacted.”