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WY: Two face multiple charges in elk hunt

Two face multiple charges in elk hunt Rangers say the brothers were hunting with a floodlight, and drugs and alcohol were found.


A bull elk and his harem of cows 26 miles north of Jackson, Wyo., in the heart of Grand Teton National Park were just too much of a temptation Thursday for two hapless would-be poachers, according to the National Park Service.

The two men, brothers Ryan and Tracy Palmer from Rawlins, Wyo., had intended to go hunting in Bridger- Teton National Forest.

But early Thursday, Ryan, 25, and Tracy, 32, decided to spotlight wildlife in Grand Teton National Park an illegal activity in the park, according to the Park Service.

Spotlighting involves using a floodlight on a vehicle to look for game along a road after dark.

After the pair spotted a bull elk and the harem in the heart of the park, things went downhill quickly for the pair, investigators said.

About 2 a.m., a Teton County sheriff's deputy saw Ryan swerving in the road and stopped him for an alcohol- related investigation, ultimately citing him for possession of an open container.

A search of the vehicle yielded methamphetamines, drug paraphernalia and loaded firearms.

Ryan told the deputy that Tracy, armed with a bow and quiver of arrows, was in the bushes not far away in pursuit of the elk.

Park rangers began a "systematic search" and located Tracy about 9:30 a.m. as he emerged from the underbrush and approached the road in an effort to hitch a ride.

According to investigators, Tracy found himself without a ride after Ryan saw the sheriff's deputy who ultimately apprehended him.

Ryan drove down the road hoping to avoid the deputy, leaving Tracy in the brush.

A thorough search of the area found no elk carcasses, and every indication is that "Tracy missed his intended target," according to the Park Service.

Both men are in a lot of trouble.

Tracy was charged with illegal spotlighting, discharging a weapon in a national park and attempting to illegally take wildlife.

Ryan is charged with illegal spotlighting, possession of drugs, illegal possession of loaded firearms and possession of an open container.

Ryan is being held in Teton County Jail in Jackson.

Tracy was cited and released.

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