Poacher fined $7,500 in deer case
Reminding the offender “hunting is a privilege” for those who follow the rules, U.S. Magistrate Byron Cudmore on Monday accepted a plea arrangement that levies a $7,500 fine on a Tennessee man who violated a series of state and federal wildlife laws.
The hunter, Allen Blevins, who also served as a guide for Hadley Creek Outfitters in Pike County, was ordered to forfeit three trophy white-tailed deer mounts as well.
Blevins pleaded guilty to killing three bucks in 2004, two more than the “one buck” limit allotted to nonresident archery deer hunters. He also transported an illegally taken buck to Tennessee in violation of the federal Lacey Act. Once back in Tennessee, he checked it in as having been killed in his home state. On other occasions, he had others place their license tags on deer he killed or placed one of his tags on another’s deer.
Blevins was ordered to pay $7,500 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Lacey Act Reward Fund, and he forfeited the three mounted deer heads that were seized as evidence.
The fund defrays the cost of investigations into wildlife and conservation crimes.
Cudmore told Blevins the penalties would have been more severe if he had a previous record of violating conservation laws.
“I’ve been a hunter my whole life,” Cudmore said. “(Hunting) is about the process. I don’t like hunters that only equate success with what we bag.
“The sport doesn’t need to be sullied like that.”
The Lacey Act violation is a Class A misdemeanor with a possible maximum sentence of up to one year in prison, up to one year supervised release and up to a $100,000 fine.
Blevins, an attorney and president of Whitetail Properties, a real estate firm specializing in selling land for hunting, expressed regret during his court appearance.
“I am very sorry and remorseful for my actions,” he said. “It is the biggest mistake I ever made.”
Assistant U.S. attorney Gregory Gilmore prosecuted the case.