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Deer National Story NAW+ News Poaching Whitetail

TV Host Spook Spann Violates Probation; Gets Jail Time and Hunting Ban

by Eric Conn   |  August 2nd, 2013 6

The U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement on July 31, 2013, stating TV host and celebrity hunter William “Spook” Spann had violated his federal probation and must serve 30 days in jail. Spann was also banned from hunting anywhere in the world for the next year.

Spann, 50, of Dickson, Tenn., originally pleaded guilty last year to misdemeanor charges of transporting a whitetail buck from Kansas to Tennessee after it was illegally killed in 2007. He was ordered to pay $20,000 in fines and restitution, and to refrain from hunting for six months.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice statement, Spann violated his parole by going turkey hunting in Tennessee. He was also found in violation of Tennessee state law, which prohibits hunters from illegally baiting wildlife. According to the Wichita Eagle, federal game wardens obtained video footage and Facebook images of Spann participating in the turkey hunt. Although he did not shoot a turkey, U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara ruled that he still broke probationary guidelines by calling in birds and illegally baiting them for other hunters to shoot.

Spann’s probation will be extended to Feb. 28, 2016, and he will be required to spend 30 days during nights and weekends in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons between now and Feb. 28, 2014.

The problems for Spann—who hosts Spook Nation on The Pursuit Channel—began in September 2012 when he was first charged with hunting violations in Kansas. The charges were related to a 2007 hunt in which he killed a 224-inch non-typical whitetail, which was at the time the largest non-typical bow kill caught on film. Spann was charged under the Lacey Act, which prohibits the transfer of illegally taken animals across state lines.

Originally Spann released a statement in September 2012 denying the allegations, but later pleaded guilty. In response to the charges against him, Spann launched a website on Sep. 30, 2012, where friends and fans can post comments supporting the claim that he is an ethical hunter and family man.

Ted Nugent offered his support on the website, stating that it’s simply a case of overreach by the federal government and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

“The unfounded attack on Spook Spann (sic) is another tragic example of the feds, particularly USFWS (sic), out of control. Such abuse of power and blatant corruption has hit an all-time high and we the people must fight to end it now. The Lacey Act has been bastardized by animal rights extremists inside the government and we must demand an investigation by Congress ASAP. The Nugent family and all good, caring Americans stand with Spook.”

  • Aili McKeen

    Spook Spann does not impress me as “ethical.” Laws were put in place by sportsmen decades ago to encourage fair chase and grow healthy populations of game. I don’t care how impressive a rack, there’s no excuse for poaching.

  • Michael Neely

    Fedzilla is out of control. It infuriates me to see my federal tax dollars spent paying federal agents to stalk and entrap a fellow hunter while 16 American warriors die in Benghazi due to Federal ineptitude and nobody is held accountable. THAT is criminal!

  • Michael Neely

    Many of you folks just don’t get it. Spook, Ted Nugent and others of lesser public recognition are pleading nolo contenders to these tenuous charges to avoid spending years and millions of dollars in expense fighting continued and relentless federal harassment. It is a no win situation for them, so They let the Feds have a little piece of their scalps to save the rest of their heads. The Feds are happy because they know that the hunting community is the most fractious and cannibalistic of any interest group. The Feds draw a little blood, and then leave it to the holier than thou sharks and piranhas in the hunting community do the rest. Spook is not your enemy. The Fed is becoming that.

    • DN

      Sounds like Michael Neely should be watched as well. Respect the law so we all can hunt.

  • Michael Neely

    The US Government is fast becoming the most corrupt entity on the planet. Pay attention to all the things they are telling you not to pay attention to.

  • Murdy

    “Millions of dollars in expense fighting these tenuous charges”?? Really? If defending against a few fish & game violations costs “millions of dollars”, how does anybody ever take anything to trial. If these guys were not guilty, they should have pled not guilty and demanded a trial. These guys are just opportunists profiting off of the hunting community.

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