COLORADO SPRINGS — A Colorado Springs man has received a lifetime hunting ban after illegally killing animals across three Colorado counties.
28-year-old Iniki Vike Kapu has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor poaching charges in Fremont, Teller, and Chaffee counties, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has made the decision to permanently suspend his hunting privileges.
Because Colorado is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, Kapu’s lifetime hunting ban also extends to 47 other states that are members of the compact.
According to CPW, Kapu was accused of killing 12 deer, 2 turkeys, and a bighorn sheep ram across the region.
He pleaded guilty to illegal possession of wildlife in May 2019 in Chaffee County and then pleaded guilty again in Dec. 2019 in Teller County. Then in Feb. of 2020, he pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a bighorn sheep and illegal possession of three or more big game animals in Fremont County.
CPW said he was fined $4,600 and sentenced to six months in jail and three years supervised probation in Fremont County.
CPW hearing examiner Steven Cooley issued his decision to permanently suspend Kapu’s hunting privileges last week.
“Iniki Kapu is viewed as a serious threat to Colorado’s wildlife and his violations are among the worst. The severity and level of indifference for wildlife in this case are rarely seen and cannot be tolerated," Cooley wrote in his decision.
“Let this be a warning to anyone out there who is contemplating poaching wildlife in Colorado,” said Frank McGee, CPW area wildlife manager in Colorado Springs. “Colorado Parks and Wildlife aggressively pursues anyone who illegally takes wildlife. When you poach, you are stealing from all residents of Colorado.
“And your acts are an insult to all the hunters who follow the rules, who buy the licenses that pay for wildlife management, who respect the hunting seasons and abide by principles of fair chase," McGee added.
CPW said this investigation began with a citizen tip about the illegal killing of wildlife in October 2018 linked to a truck that was stuck and abandoned on a remote road in the Pike National Forest.
Anyone with information of a possible crime against wildlife is asked to call CPW, or report it anonymously to Operation Game Thief, or OGT. Reach OGT by calling, toll-free, 1-877-COLO-OGT (or 877-265-6648). Or email CPW at email@example.com.
To learn more about Operation Game Thief, visit the CPW website.