Two Central Illinois Hunters Banned for Illegal Practices
PEORIA, Ill. – The former host of a cable hunting show, Christopher Brackett, of East Peoria, Ill., and the owner of a waterfowl outfitting service, Rick A. Hamm, of Chillicothe, Ill., have each been banned from hunting during their respective terms of probation. Both central Illinois men were sentenced in separate, unrelated cases for federal hunting violations of the Lacey Act.
Brackett, 41, former host of “Fear No Evil,” a cable show that aired on the Outdoor Channel, is banned from hunting worldwide and cannot possess firearms during his sentence of 30 months of probation. U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm further ordered Brackett to pay $3,500 in restitution to the State of Indiana and to pay a $26,500 fine.
Hamm, 58, owner of “Show Me Your Snows,” a waterfowl outfitting service, is banned from hunting and guiding worldwide during his sentence of 24 months of probation. U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid further ordered Hamm to serve five days in jail, to pay $2,500 in restitution to the State of Illinois and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and to pay a $50,000 fine.
Brackett was sentenced on Jan. 15, 2020, for unlawful transportation of wildlife, in violation of the Lacey Act. Brackett pleaded guilty in July 2019, to killing two bucks within minutes of each other, during the December 2013 filming of an episode of his cable show, when the state of Indiana permitted hunters to kill only one buck per season. Brackett further admitted that he transported the second, 11-point buck he had nicknamed the “Unicorn Buck,” for its unique antler formation, to his home in East Peoria. Brackett featured the “Unicorn Buck” kill on his television show in 2014. Brackett instructed his cameraman and producer to hide footage of the first buck killed, a smaller eight-point buck, and instructed an employee to destroy an eight-point rack prior to charges being filed against him,
Hamm was sentenced on Jan. 16, 2020, to unlawful sale of wildlife, in violation of the Lacey Act. Hamm pleaded guilty in September 2019, to using an electronic caller to lure geese into shooting range during a guided hunt in December 2015, in Fulton County, Ill., knowing it was unlawful under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Illinois conservation regulations.
In a prior federal case, in 2000, Hamm was fined $5,000 for federal violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act dealing with shooting waterfowl over the bag limit, transporting untagged waterfowl, and hunting with lead shot.
Hamm’s co-defendants, Trent Gustafson, Zachary Entwistle, James Schupp, and J. Weston Schupp, were each sentenced to six months of probation, during which each is banned from waterfowl hunting, and ordered to pay a fine of $1,500.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Legge represented the government in the case prosecutions. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted the case investigations with the assistance of both the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources.