NM - Game director's hunting license may be revoked
NM game director's hunting license may be revoked
The Associated Press
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
The head of New Mexico's Game and Fish Department could lose his hunting
license for two years after he was accused of illegally shooting a deer
on private land.
An independent hearing officer heard testimony Monday about a
November 2007 incident in which director Bruce Thompson shot a deer on
the Diamond T Ranch west of Roswell. It's illegal to hunt on private
property in New Mexico without permission from the landowner.
Thompson, who had a valid deer-hunting license, said he believed he
was on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land, based on coordinates entered
in his GPS unit. He also said he expects to be treated like any other
hunter who violated the rules without intending to do so.
The hearing officer made a preliminary recommendation that Thompson's
hunting license be revoked for two years. A final recommendation is
expected in 10 days.
The state Game Commission, which has the final say, will likely
consider the hearing officer's recommendation at its Oct. 2 meeting.
Thompson sits on the seven-member board.
Commission chairman Tom Arvas said it will be a difficult decision,
just like all revocations.
"In this case, I think the commission is going to do what it
considers the right thing," he said. "They've always done it in the past
and I have a lot of faith they'll do it with this case."
Department spokesman Dan Williams said policy is clear when it comes
to cases like Thompson's.
Each of the counts he pleaded no contest to earlier this year —
unlawful hunting and illegal possession of a deer — carry a 10-point
penalty. Once a hunter reaches 20 points, his or her license can be
revoked for up to three years.
As a result of his no contest plea, Thompson also was fined and
ordered to serve 182 days of unsupervised probation.