RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina man who bagged a deer and a bobcat in Kentucky without getting the proper permits has found himself banned from hunting anywhere in the world for two years.
Rodney Poteat was sentenced in federal court in Kentucky last week after pleading guilty to charges of killing the deer and bobcat and transporting them to his home in Salisbury, N.C., in the western part of the state. He didn't get a permit required of non-residents or report the kills.
The plea deal cost him $5,350 and two years' probation, during which "the defendant shall be prohibited from hunting or accompanying anyone hunting anywhere in the world," reads the judge's order, which was first reported by The Salisbury Post.
It's unclear what led authorities to Poteat. Messages left for Poteat and his Kentucky lawyer were not immediately returned.
Hunting bans for those who break wildlife laws are not uncommon — violators in some cases have even been banned for life. But typically those punishments happen at the state level and generally carry over into other states only as long as they're among the 33 that belong to the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, according to Jeremy Rine, associate director of state services for the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance.
"Essentially, if you get in trouble in one state, you suffer the consequences in any of the other states that participate in the compact," he said.
Charles Feldmann, a partner at the Colorado law firm Feldmann Nagel & Associates which specializes in wildlife law, said Poteat's punishment was a sign of increasingly severe penalties for people convicted of wildlife law violations.
"This area of prosecution, in my opinion, is getting far more aggressive, and so we're starting to see more outrageous sentences like that," Feldmann said.
In April, U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Robert Goebel — who handed down Poteat's sentence — barred two men who were convicted of illegally baiting mourning doves from hunting migratory birds anywhere around the world for two years.
"The vast majority of my clients come to me thinking they just entered a plea in court to a misdemeanor, and they don't have any idea that not only do they now have a criminal history, but they also might lose their ability to hunt altogether," Feldmann said.