An Indiana Conservation Officer investigation has resulted in multiple charges, fines, and the first lifetime hunting suspension of its kind in state history for a West Lafayette man.
Hanson Pusey, 25, was sentenced Thursday in Warren County Court to a lifetime hunting suspension along with home detention, probation, and payment of replacement fees stemming from an investigation by DNR Law Enforcement involving the illegal hunting of wild turkeys in Indiana and six other states.
In spring 2020, conservation officers in District 3 received information that Pusey, whose hunting privileges had been suspended since March 2019, was still hunting and taking multiple turkeys illegally in Indiana and other states.
Using advanced surveillance techniques, investigators monitored Pusey, gathering evidence of poaching in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, as well as in Indiana, where they documented him taking four spring turkeys in Indiana in 2020, two after the season closed. Officers also documented Pusey helping family and friends poach turkeys. Search warrants were served on the man’s residence, and in cooperation with the other states’ fish and wildlife law enforcement agencies, filed charges in all them.
During the search of the residence, officers found that Pusey had kept the spent shotgun hulls from turkeys he had harvested, identifying the states and dates he took them. Officers documented 83 spent casings in the collection dating back to 2012, including 14 dated within three months of his first suspension of hunting privileges in 2019. Four were listed by Pusey as being taken from Indiana.
Punishments for various charges from the other states included $4,125 in fines and costs and an eight-year hunting license suspension in Pennsylvania, $324 in fines and costs and an indefinite suspension in Connecticut, $700 in fines and costs and license suspension during probation in Massachusetts, $2,335 in fines and costs in Georgia, $278 in fines and costs in North Carolina, and $525 in fines and costs in Tennessee.
Pusey was charged again in February for hunting without permission and theft of a trail camera card in Warren County, despite the 2020 investigation and his convictions in the other states.
To report hunting or fishing violations, call Indiana Conservation Officer Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or 1-800-TIP-IDNR.