Nevada game wardens investigated the case of two men who were found with the remains of an antelope in a motel room bathtub. As a result of their investigation, James M. Cumming pled guilty to a gross misdemeanor for illegally killing the animal.
This type of poaching is a potential felony in Nevada, and Cummings was sentenced to three years probation and a year of jail time, which was suspended. He was fined more than $4,500 and ordered to forfeit the .300 caliber Winchester rifle used in the crime. Cummings also loses all hunting, trapping, and fishing privileges for five years.
The investigation revealed that Cummings shot the antelope out of season and without a tag or a hunting license. The incident happened on April 2, 2014 when Cummings shot an antelope between Battle Mountain and Austin. He gutted it nearby and then took it to a motel in Battle Mountain. Along with an accomplice, he began to butcher the antelope in the bathtub. Charges are pending for the other person involved in the incident.
Deputies were called to the scene on the evening of April 3 because of a strong odor of marijuana. They discovered the antelope carcass and contacted game wardens. The game wardens were immediately suspicious, since it was out of hunting season. Also, they had never seen a legitimate hunter butcher an animal in a hotel bathtub.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife takes poaching very seriously. Tips from the public are a great help in solving crimes of this nature, and citizens and concerned sportsmen can call the operation game thief hotline to report wildlife crimes. Thirty-one game wardens work in the field in Nevada, and they are responsible for patrolling more than 110,500 square miles.