JACKSON (WNE) — A former Jackson resident and antler-dealing businessman has been prosecuted for taking hundreds of pounds of cut-up elk horn that was illegally gathered and hidden on closed …
JACKSON (WNE) — A former Jackson resident and antler-dealing businessman has been prosecuted for taking hundreds of pounds of cut-up elk horn that was illegally gathered and hidden on closed wildlife winter range.
Great American Antler Company owner Joshua Anders Rae, 35, pleaded guilty last week to possessing and transporting 104 pounds of elk antler that had been sawed into dog chew-size hunks and buried in caches at the base of trees. Authorities discovered another 410 pounds of antler Rae is presumed to have cached after plucking antlers from seasonally closed portions of the Bridger-Teton National Forest and the National Elk Refuge.
That collective poundage of elk antler — valued at nearly $10,000 based on recent Jackson auction pricing — was recovered in 2016. It took three years for Rae’s case to be adjudicated, but on June 17 he pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shickich in federal court in Casper.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service publicized the case in a press release this week, describing the sentence that resulted from a sealed plea bargain as five years of unsupervised probation, a five-year revocation of hunting and fishing privileges, $15,000 in fines and a five-year ban from Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks and the refuge.
Other details of the Rae case, including how law enforcement officers caught him, are unusually murky. Repeated interview requests with the National Elk Refuge law enforcement officer who helped make the case have been declined, dating back to this spring.