On April 11, the United States Attorney’s Office charged 54-year-old Edward R. Bundy of Tuckerman, Arkansas with violating the Lacey Act—a federal statute that regulates the transport of wild game across state lines. According to a U.S. Department of Justice press release, Tuckerman falsely claimed Alaska residency in order to harvest a bull caribou. He then allegedly shipped the animal from a tannery in Alaska to his home in Arkansas, NBC affiliate KARK reports. If convicted, Bundy faces a year-long prison sentence and up to $100,000 in fines.
The United State Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) investigated the case with assistance from Alaska Wildlife Troopers. According to court documents obtained by KARK, Bundy entered into a tentative plea agreement that included a $12,000 fine, forfeiture of two trophy caribou and one black bear, and an 18 month probationary period that carries a world-wide hunting ban. He will appear for further sentencing in July where a federal judge could decide to reject his plea deal, opting for stiffer penalties.
Caribou inhabit the arctic tundra, mountain tundra, and mountain forest regions of Alaska. There are 32 distinct caribou herds in the state with a combined population of some 950,000 animals, according the Alaska Department of Game and Fish (ADGF). Most caribou hunting in the state begins on August 10 and ends by September 20.
Unlike every other member of the deer family, both male and female caribou develop antlers. Bulls commonly weigh as much as 400 pounds, dress out at 240 pounds, and yield 100 pounds of meat. “Antlers of adult bulls are large and massive,” ADFG states on its website. “Those of adult cows are much smaller and more spindly.”