Georgia man fined for illegal deer hunt arranged by North Platte outfitter

By: - November 4, 2022 7:38 pm

(Yves Adams, Getty Images)

LINCOLN — A Georgia hunter was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution on Friday for illegally shooting two mule deer while guided by a North Platte commercial outfitter.

Chad M. McCullough, 34, of Franklin, Georgia, is the third person prosecuted by federal officials for illegal hunts through Noble Outdoors in 2020.  Four additional defendants have pleaded guilty in Nebraska state court, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office.

All told, the seven people convicted have been ordered to pay a total of $37,500 in fines and restitution.

Shot from road, out of season

A joint investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission found that in October of 2020, McCullough traveled to North Platte for an archery mule deer hunt.

During the hunt, McCullough unlawfully shot a mule deer buck with a rifle while seated in a Noble Outdoors vehicle parked on a public roadway, despite knowing that rifle deer season was not open at that time.

U.S. District Judge John Gerrard also sentenced McCullough to two years’ probation for unlawful transportation of wildlife in interstate commerce. He was also ordered to surrender the taxidermy mounts of two mule deer taken unlawfully during the 2020 hunt.



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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.