SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld an appeals court’s judgment that ordered a man to pay $74,000 restitution to the state Game and Fish Department for poaching a trophy mule deer buck in December 2015.
The restitution included $20,000 for the out-of-season killing done without a license plus $54,000 reimbursement to the department for the extensive investigation required for the case.
A hotline tip to the Game and Fish began the investigation after a headless deer carcass was found near Lindrith, New Mexico.
Conservation officers went to the scene and located the stashed head and trophy antlers.
Officers set up around-the-clock surveillance and said Cody W. Davis of Arnegard, North Dakota was seen retrieving the head four months later.
Game and Fish officials said Davis led the surveilling officers to the Rio Grande where he allegedly dumped the trophy head in the river.
The head was eventually found downstream about two weeks later.
Officers then worked with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to serve a search warrant on Davis.