A Kansas guide is losing his hunting privileges for three years because he violated the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said today.
Zachary B. White, age 35, Ellinwood, Kan., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Wichita to violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In his plea, White admitted he acted as a waterfowl guide to a party of 13 hunters during a hunt conducted during December 2015, in Barton County, Kan. With White’s assistance, the hunters killed 31 white-fronted geese, violating a daily bag limit of two per person. The unlawful hunting and guiding services were provided to the hunters by White and another guide, both co-owners and operators of Prairie Thunder Outfitters (PTO), located near Ellinwood, Kansas.
White was sentenced to three years on probation, during which he is prohibited from hunting and fishing or acting as a guide. In addition, 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 plead 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 limit, 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 in excess of 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.