‘Poaching spree’ gets man banned from hunting in 48 states, Colorado officials say

Maddie Capron
·2 min read

A Colorado man will never be able to legally hunt again in 48 states after pleading guilty to poaching more than a dozen animals, officials said.

Iniki Vike Kapu, 28, was accused of killing a dozen deer, two turkeys and a bighorn sheep ram in several counties in Colorado, the state’s Parks and Wildlife department said in a Monday news release.

His hunting privileges have been permanently suspended everywhere in the U.S. except Hawaii and Massachusetts. Kapu has 35 days to appeal the lifetime hunting suspension, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“Kapu’s crimes against wildlife are the essence of what defines a poacher by taking wildlife without regard for the laws protecting them,” hearing examiner Steven Cooley said in the news release. “Kapu is viewed as a serious threat to Colorado’s wildlife and his violations are among the worst. The severity and level of indifference for wildlife in this case are rarely seen and cannot be tolerated.”

Kapu was ordered to pay a $4,600 fine and was also sentenced to six months in prison with three years of supervised probation, Parks and Wildlife said.

“Let this be a warning to anyone out there who is contemplating poaching wildlife in Colorado,” Frank McGee, CPW area wildlife manager, said in the news release. “Colorado Parks and Wildlife aggressively pursues anyone who illegally takes wildlife. When you poach, you are stealing from all residents of Colorado.”

In October 2018, wildlife officials received a tip about an “illegal killing of wildlife” that was linked to a red truck that sat abandoned in Pike National Forest, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. A dead deer was in the back of the truck, and its meat was spoiled.

“In Colorado, hunters are required by law to prepare all harvested big game for human consumption,” wildlife officials said. “The removal of hides, antlers, heads and abandoning the animal’s meat can bring up to class-five felony charges against anyone suspected of the crime.”