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AZ: Hunter loses hunting privileges for life

November 19, 2009

Why a Willcox man lost his hunting privileges for life

By Derek Jordan Herald/Review SIERRA VISTA — A Willcox man has had his Arizona hunting license revoked for life and was fined thousands of dollars after a monthslong investigation by the Arizona Game and Fish Department revealed he had been killing wildlife illegally and on private property.

Jared A. Youngs, 22, was fined $6,000 by the department, which in October also revoked his ability to ever legally hunt or fish in the state again.

Another man, Josh L. Ferrigna, 24, also of Willcox, identified by the department as Youngs’ “accomplice,” was fined $1,500 and had his hunting license revoked for 15 years.

A six-month investigation into the two men began in March 2008 after officials discovered the carcass of a decapitated mule deer, said Mark Hart, public information officer for the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

“Based on the state of the remains found, there had been no attempt to use the animals as game meat,” Hart said. “They were simply looking for trophies.”

According to Hart, the investigation and interviews with Youngs and Ferrigna revealed the two men would travel to private property at night and shine powerful headlights at the deer to immobilize them before killing them.

“That’s an easy way to kill a deer. It’s not sporting. It’s certainly not hunting,” he said.

Investigators obtained search warrants and were able to uncover evidence at two Willcox residences, including antlers, linking the men to the acts, he said.

According to Hart, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission was only recently given the authority to revoke a hunting license for life, which it reserves the punishment for only the worst offenses.

“This was a case in the extreme and merited the most severe penalty,” he said.

Authorities said the men killed five mule deer in this manner, four bucks and one doe.

In a Wednesday news release, Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Manager John Bacorn shed some light as to the motive of the two men.

“During interviews, these individuals were asked why they had engaged in this type of activity, and their responses were they just got caught up in the excitement and the adrenaline rush,” Bacorn said.

The men received a total of 22 citations and were fined more than $12,000 by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, according to state authorities.

The charges they are faced with include knowingly taking wildlife during a closed season, possessing unlawfully taken wildlife, taking wildlife without a license, taking wildlife with artificial light, taking wildlife with the aid of a vehicle, waste of game meat and trespassing on private property while taking wildlife.

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