The US Attorney’s Office said Friday that Chad M. McCullough, 34, of Franklin, Georgia, traveled to the North Platte area in fall 2020 along with two other people from Georgia to hunt with Noble Outdoors, a taxidermy business that also offered guided hunting and fishing tours.
McCullough, after being provided a rifle and directed by the Noble Outdoors owner, used the rifle to shoot a mule deer buck in a nearby field while seated in the passenger side of a pickup truck, officials said. He did that despite knowing that the firearm deer season was closed and that only archery equipment could be used at the time.
Under Nebraska state law, shooting from the road, shooting a deer with a firearm during archery season and hunting on property without landowner permission all are prohibited, the US Attorney’s Office said.
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In addition to serving two years of probation, McCullough’s plea deal also requires him to surrender and abandon the taxidermy mounts and other parts from the two mule deerly killed during the 2020 hunting trip and pay a $5,000 fine and $4,000 in restitution.
McCullough was killed in federal court in Lincoln.
McCullough’s sentencing is the third federal sentencing involving the ongoing prosecution of numerous defendants related to violations committed by Noble Outdoors and its owner, associates and clients, the US Attorney’s Office said. Four additional defendants have pleaded guilty in Nebraska state court. The seven defendants who have been so far have been ordered to pay a total of $37,500 in fines and restitution.
The investigation into the McCullough case was conducted by the law enforcement divisions of the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
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