Outdoor Notes 07-13-12

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Deer poachers convicted and fined

ALBUQUERQUE – Two Los Lunas men convicted of poaching a deer were ordered to pay $699 in fines and $500 in civil penalties to reimburse the state for the loss of the deer.
Andrew Montoya, 41, was charged with three criminal counts of poaching after he shot and killed a deer while hunting near Ladrone Mountain with his father in November of 2011.
Andrew Montoya was not licensed to hunt deer at the time. He was convicted earlier this month of hunting without a license, unlawful killing and unlawful possession of a deer. He was ordered to pay $876 in fines and civil penalties and was sentenced to 360 days of probation.
Montoya’s father, Romolo Montoya, who was licensed to hunt deer at the time, was convicted of unlawful possession of a deer. He was ordered to pay $323 in fines and civil penalties.
“Operation Game Thief is one of our most important tools when it comes to wildlife crimes,” said Darrel Cole, the department’s Belen District conservation officer. “We can’t be in all places all of the time.”
The Game and Fish department asks anyone with information about violations of New Mexico’s wildlife laws to call Operation Game Thief at 800-432-4263, or to visit wildlife.state.nm.us. Callers can remain anonymous and can earn rewards if information leads to charges being filed.

Trophy buck antelope illegally shot, left to rot

RATON — New Mexico Department of Game and Fish investigators are looking for information that would assist them in solving a case in which a trophy buck antelope was illegally killed on or shortly before June 16.
Game and Fish officers found the antelope carcass near N.M. 193 between Raton and Farley, in Colfax County. The antelope was left to rot after it was shot.
The Department offers rewards for information that leads to the arrest or charges against wildlife law violators.
Those with any information are asked to call 800-432-4263. Local landowners are donating money to increase this reward to $500.

Elk licenses for youth go on sale Wednesday

SANTA FE – Young hunters who did not draw a big-game license will have another shot to go hunting this coming season when the Department of Game and Fish puts more than 2,000 antlerless elk licenses up for sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
The online sale will be first-come, first-served on the department website, wildlife.state.nm.us. The sale includes almost 1,500 licenses for hunters using any legal weapon and 540 licenses for hunters using muzzleloaders or bows.
According to state law, for the first 14 days, the sale will be open only to New Mexico resident youths younger than age 18 who successfully applied but were unsuccessful in drawing any big-game license this year. The sale will shut down for 24 hours at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 and then reopen at 10 a.m. Aug. 2, when the remaining licenses will be available to anyone under 18, resident or nonresident, who did not draw a 2012-13 elk license.
New Mexico law requires all hunters younger than age 18 to have passed an approved hunter safety course before purchasing or applying for a hunting license.
Hunters are strongly advised to obtain or review an online customer account, including a Customer Identification Number, user name and password before the sale begins.
More information and a list of available classes are available at the Game and Fish website.