California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officials announced that a 57-year-old Courtland man was found guilty on multiple criminal charges and fined $5,000 for the illegal trapping of bobcats and foxes.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported on its website SFGate that Tracy Lee Shultz had set more than 50 illegal traps and poached more than 60 bobcat and fox pelts with a commercial value of $15,000. The law permits trapping of pelts during a season that starts Nov. 24. Trappers need to be vigilant and monitor their traps daily which, according to department officials, was impossible for Shultz to do because his multiple traps were sprawled over a 900 square mile section.
According to AmmoLand, back in November, Lassen County CDFW Warden Nick Buckler was tipped about Schultz and spent practically the entire 70-day trapping season living in harsh terrain and documenting Schultz’s illegal activities to obtain evidence. At one point, Shultz had left his trapping activities to go home for a few days, leaving animals in the traps and vulnerable to the elements. On one occasion, Buckler released a spotted skunk who had been trapped during freezing weather conditions.
According to Buckler, there is a huge market for pelts: “The illegal commercialization of wildlife is second only to the illegal trade in drugs and guns for worldwide revenue. There will always be people willing to break laws and exploit wildlife to make money.”