A hunter from Georgia has been fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution by a federal judge for shooting two mule deer out of season while being guided by a North Platte commercial outfitter in 2020.
34-year old Chad McCullough of Franklin must also spend 2 years on probation and surrender the taxidermy mounts of the deer after pleading guilty to unlawful transportation of wildlife in interstate commerce.
McCullough is the third person prosecuted by federal officials for illegal hunts through Noble Outdoors in 2020 with 4 other defendants pleading guilty to state charges. Together, they’ve been ordered to pay $37,500 in fines and restitution.
A joint investigation by Nebraska Game and Parks and the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service found McCullough traveled to North Platte in October of 2020 for an archery mule deer hunt.
During the hunt, though, McCullough shot a mule deer buck with a rifle while seated in a Noble Outdoors vehicle parked on a public roadway, despite knowing that rifle deer season was not open at that time.
The rifle was provided by the company’s owner, who told McCullough to kill the deer despite knowing that only archery equipment was authorized.
Under Nebraska state law, shooting from the road, taking deer with a firearm during archery season, and hunting on property without landowner permission are all prohibited.