KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A professional hunter from Tennessee has pleaded guilty to a Lacey Act violation in Kansas, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Tuesday.
William “Spook” Spann, 50, Dickson, Tenn., pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of transporting across state lines wildlife that was taken unlawfully in Kansas. In his plea, Spann admitted that in mid-November 2007 he unlawfully took a white-tailed deer in Stafford County. Spann took the deer on land owned by another person, in violation of Spann’s hunting permit, which entitled him to hunt only on land that he owned.
On a scouting trip, Spann and a cameraman spotted a deer at a distance of several hundred yards with the wind blowing in their faces so that the deer would not be able to hear or smell their approach. With a video camera rolling, Spann stalked to within 10 yards of the deer. Spann drew his bow and killed the deer with an arrow.
Federal investigators served a search warrant at Spann’s home in Tennessee, where they seized the antlers of the Kansas deer.
Sentencing is set for Feb. 28. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed to recommend Spann be sentenced to serve three years federal probation, including a six-month suspension of his hunting privileges throughout the United States, followed by six months in which he would be prohibited from hunting in Kansas. They also will recommend he be ordered to pay a fine of $10,000, as well as restitution of $10,000 to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. In addition, he would be ordered not to promote his unlawful hunting acts on his Web site, www.spookspann.com
Grissom commended the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.