South Dakota man loses hunting privileges for wasting bear meat in Colorado |

South Dakota man loses hunting privileges for wasting bear meat in Colorado

bear killed by hunter Robert Stalley
Robert Stalley, 58, of Pierre, S.D., has been banned for 12 years from hunting and fishing in Colorado following a 2017 killing and wasting of a black bear during a hunt near Steamboat Springs.
(Courtesy/Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Colorado Parks and Wildlife has suspended a South Dakota poacher’s hunting and fishing privileges for 12 years following the defendant’s conviction for wasting the meat of a black bear he killed during the 2017 hunting season near Steamboat Springs.

A CPW hearing officer meted out the suspension to Robert Stalley, 58, of Pierre, S.D. on June 25 after considering the behavior of the defendant, including his attempts to evade and mislead CPW investigators. In one instance, officers say Stalley presented a bag filled with the meat of a legally taken deer during the required inspection of the bear’s hide, likely in an attempt to deceive inspectors.

Stalley possessed valid deer and bear licenses at the time of the violations.

“During my interview with Mr. Stalley at his South Dakota home, he stated that he did take bear meat from the backstraps and hindquarters and that he ate some and gave some away; however, our investigation proved otherwise,” said Wildlife Officer Jack Taylor of Steamboat Springs in an agency news release. “In addition, Mr. Stalley took deer meat from the same location that the bear was harvested but chose to leave all of the bear meat behind, removing only the head and hide.”

In July 2018, Stalley pleaded guilty in Routt County Court to three misdemeanors including failing to care for the edible portions of the bear, illegal take and illegal possession of the bear. In an agreement with prosecutors, Stalley also received a 1-year deferred sentence on a felony charge for the intentional take and abandonment of wildlife.

Stalley paid a fine of $3,415 in addition to serving a one-year term of court ordered unsupervised probation and forfeiture of his rifle. His violations resulted in 50 suspension points.

In Colorado, hunters are required by law to prepare all harvested big game for human consumption. 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.

Taylor said he learned about the bear’s carcass after receiving a tip from an anonymous source through Operation Game Thief, Colorado’s wildlife tip line.

— Joe Moylan covers crime and public safety for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at, (970) 392-4467 or on Twitter @JoeMoylan.

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