NM: Hunting legend Darner sentenced in theft
Hunting legend Darner sentenced in theft
By Nancy Lofholm
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/14/2009 03:13:09 PM MST Updated: 01/14/2009 05:58:09 PM
Hunting legend Kirt Darner was sentenced this week in New Mexico to
pay $10,000 in fines and perform 4,500 hours of community service for
illegally transporting elk and receiving stolen bighorn-sheep heads. He
also permanently lost his hunting rights.
Darner, 69, pleaded guilty to the charges last summer, three years
after trophy sheep heads stolen from a Montrose taxidermy shop were
found in his vehicle. That same year, Darner sold three state-owned elk
from his game ranch in New Mexico to another big-game ranch.
Darner was a nationally known big-game hunter and guide and author of
hunting books. He held a number of big-game trophies that were later
rescinded after it was determined that he had allegedly cheated to win
Darner had previous problems with the law. He was convicted of
illegal possession of wildlife in 1994. In 1999, he was convicted of
tampering with evidence and careless driving after he was accused of
trying to run down a wildlife officer who observed one of Darner's
hunting clients shoot at an elk decoy in an area where he didn't have a
license to hunt.
As part of Darner's most recent sentence, he has agreed never to
hunt, fish or possess a firearm anywhere. He also was ordered to pay an
as yet undetermined amount of restitution to the New Mexico Department
of Game and Fish, the Colorado Division of Wildlife and the taxidermy
business in Montrose where Darner paid a man to steal the sheep heads.
Darner currently lives on a ranch in Crawford.
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