Terry Sandmeier of Geneva Park Outfitters Cleared Of Charges


Published: February - 2010

Continuing subscribers may remember our 2007 story about the seizure of a bighorn trophy taken with Terry Sandmeier of Geneva Park Outfitters in Colorado. He was guiding a hunter who had purchased a special tag bought at an auction sponsored by a conservation organization. The sheep was confiscated because it was shot inside a closed area off of I-70 near Georgetown, Colorado. According to the legal documents Sandmeier recently shared with us, the incident occurred when he was passing through a closed area and stopped to let a flock of sheep pass. The client apparently jumped out of the vehicle and shot a ram before Sandmeier could stop him. They were reported by another group of hunters who saw them pulled off the side of the road.

The hunter was fined $4,537 and lost the trophy, but because he was being guided and the violation was not license-related, he was allowed to continue hunting and eventually filled his auction tag elsewhere. Sandmeier, on the other hand, was facing a $25,000 penalty because the ram was larger than ½-curl and therefore subject to stiffer penalties. Instead, he worked out a plea bargain agreement that allowed him to pay only $4,558 in fines and $5,442 to Operation Game Thief.

When we initially reported on the incident, Sandmeier said that the Colorado Division of Wildlife had made several errors in assessing the situation, including the kind of charges issued against him. He said he had agreed to the plea bargain simply to be done with the matter but wished he had fought the charges in court. Eventually, he did just that and contacted us at press time with news that he has been cleared of the main count he was charged with. Sandmeier has also contested two other related counts.

Sandmeier sent us a copy of an order from the State of Colorado Office of Administrative Courts dismissing him of Count I with prejudice, meaning he cannot be recharged with this offense in this particular incident. In his note to us regarding this, he writes: "On November 18,........(continued)

 
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