Kansas guide sentenced for hunting violations
A hunting guide from Ellinwood is losing his hunting privileges for three years for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said Friday.
Zachary B. White, 35, pleaded guilty in federal court in Wichita to violating the law during a waterfowl hunt in December 2015, in Barton County.
He was the last of 10 people convicted in multi-year investigation by state and federal wildlife officials.
With White’s assistance, the 13 hunters killed 31 white-fronted geese during the guided hunt, violating a daily bag limit of two per person.
The unlawful hunting and guiding services were provided by White and another guide, both co-owners and operators of Prairie Thunder Outfitters, located near Ellinwood.
White was sentenced to three years on probation, during which he is prohibited from hunting and fishing or acting as a guide.
Also, he was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine directed to the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, $10,000 in restitution directed to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism-Law Enforcement Division Restitution Fund, and forfeited approximately 148 ducks and geese seized from the PTO Lodge during a federal search warrant conducted in December 2016.
White's sentencing is the final conviction related to a joint investigation of Prairie Thunder Outfitters by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
Nine other defendants have pleaded guilty or been adjudicated on various migratory bird hunting violations that occurred during guided hunts at PTO in 2015 and 2016, including taking in excess of daily bag limits, possession of unlawfully taken waterfowl, and possession and transport of untagged waterfowl or without required species identification.
Bryan Boxberger was sentenced in August 2020 in the District of Kansas for assisting with a PTO hunt involving hunters taking waterfowl above the daily bag and was ordered to pay $12,500 in fines and restitution.
Eight other PTO guides, clients, and associates previously paid fines related to misdemeanors charged by violation notices.
McAllister commended the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Treaster for their work on the case.