Archery Talk Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Game Trails’ Responds to Inaccuracies Regarding Charges
For Immediate Release
Sturgis, Kentucky. April 8, 2009 Misstatements of fact and misleading information related to a misdemeanor case involving Game Trails, a company with operations in Kentucky, has prompted this release to clarify the record.

On March 19, 2009, Game Trails, LLC, and its general manager Dirk MacTavish plead guilty to misdemeanor violations of the Lacy Act. More specifically, the violations were technical in nature and involved the mistagging and telechecking of deer. Both Game Trails and Dirk MacTavish paid fines. No other sanctions were imposed: no probation; no loss of hunting rights; and no loss of outfitter’s licenses. Gregg Ritz was neither charged nor plead guilty to any violation, misdemeanor or otherwise.

At all times throughout the process, Game Trails and Dirk MacTavish were forthright and cooperated fully. The mistakes in tagging deer were admitted and the matter was resolved. As noted, only fines were paid on technical misdemeanor violations. The case has been officially closed.

The relevant facts with regards to this case can be accessed through the United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky, Owensboro. However, the same cannot be said for subsequent reports, which have been littered with half-truths and false accusations. The facts have been misconstrued and inaccurately characterized. This statement will present the truth.

In addition to the aforementioned, the relevant facts are as follows. In 2006, Games Trails was instructed by an agent of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife and mandated by the land owner Kimball International to reduce the number of deer on the property to help reduce crop damage. Game Trails had been informed by Kimball’s on-site manager that the crop damage caused by deer population had resulted in Kimball International offsetting the tenant farmer’s annual lease in the amount of $35,000. Authorities at Kimball advised Game Trails that its lease would be terminated if the deer population was not reduced.

In an effort to comply, Game Trails conducted the largest ever camera survey for whitetail deer in association with the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) to determine the proper number of deer to be harvested. A formal report was presented to Kimball International by the QDMA with a recommendation to harvest 200 deer. However the Commonwealth of Kentucky conducted an independent deer damage assessment and concluded that the harvest number was far greater than 200.

Game Trails sought the advice and cooperation of local Kentucky authorities to request and receive special consideration with the harvest process. The request for special consideration concerning the deer management program was rejected. Instead, Game Trails was informed that if it needed assistance in reducing the population, then it should consider allowing local authorities, their friends and family access to hunt. This idea was not satisfactory to Kimball.

QDMA, on behalf of Game Trails, then appealed directly to officials in Frankfort, Kentucky, the state’s capitol, to request special consideration for the doe harvest. Again, Game Trails was denied special consideration and was informed no consideration would be given as long as Game Trails was in possession of the hunting lease.

Later, in 2006, Kentucky issued Game Trails several hundred Animal Control tags to accommodate the additional deer harvest requirements. The harvesting of the deer and use of the Animal Control tags were improperly managed by a former Game Trails’ site manager, who applied the tags to any hunter; essentially “community tagging” the animals. The former site manager performed all operational aspects of the business and personally tagged every animal. He was later terminated for performance issues unrelated to this incident. It must be noted that no deer went unchecked and all deer were harvested by licensed hunters.

To further clarify and correct the misinformation circulating we would like the public to know the following:

·Neither Dirk MacTavish, General Manager of Game Trails, nor
Gregg Ritz, owner of Games Trails, tagged or tele-checked any of the deer harvested;

·There were no charges or fines levied against Gregg Ritz;

·Neither Dirk MacTavish or Gregg Ritz made false statements to
Investigators, or any other authorities;

·Neither Dirk MacTavish nor Game Trails lost their outfitting
license, hunting rights or were placed on probation;

·Every deer killed was processed and given to families in need;



·With the exception of this 2006 incident, no other violations were
found to have occurred during the period in which Game Trails occupied the property;

·Felony prosecution of former Game Trails’ employee Chris
Helms is only incidental, and is unrelated to this matter; neither Gregg Ritz nor Dirk MacTavish have any involvement with that case; and

·Kimball International sold the Sturgis, Kentucky land last
November (four months prior to this event) and the new landowner chose not to sublease the hunting rights, resulting in Game Trails closing its Kentucky operation at present.

Due to the mistagging and telechekcing at Game Trails, the personal and business reputations of Game Trails, Gregg Ritz and Dirk MacTavish have all been unfairly tarnished. Mistakes were made, and a fine was paid. But Game Trails and Gregg Ritz have built a name of excellence and integrity in the industry, and these technical violations should not diminish that reputation. It is unfortunate that multiple inaccuracies have worked to do just that. Basic fairness dictates that those involved should be judged on the facts of record in this case, and those facts alone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,829 Posts
Confirms that Gregg had nothing to do with it, just like most thought. He is not that type of guy !
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
18,640 Posts
Case closed..................:darkbeer:
 

·
Fishing Guide
Joined
·
2,527 Posts
Basic fairness dictates that those involved should be judged on the facts of record in this case, and those facts alone.
Thanks woodmaster. Sounds like what a few of us were saying on another thread. I wonder how many of the bashers will post a retraction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,134 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thompson/Center Arms Announcement on Game Trails, LLC

Thompson/Center Arms wishes to clarify the Company’s relationship with Game Trails, LLC. At no time in the history of Thompson/Center Arms, including the present, has the Company had any form of ownership of or control over the Kentucky hunting property that was operated by Game Trails, LLC. The Company’s relationship with Game Trails, LLC has been limited to that of a customer, paying for use of the property when hosting various events.

In a completely separate matter, Thompson/Center Arms has been a paying sponsor of the Game Trails television show. It is the Company’s understanding that the Kentucky property operated by Game Trails, LLC, which has sometimes been referred to as "Game Trails," is distinct and unrelated to the Game Trails television show.

We at Thompson/Center Arms remain steadfast in our commitment to the hunting heritage, a heritage which embraces the highest level of ethics among participants in the sport. In that commitment, we bear no tolerance for the violation of state or federal game laws. We continue to support national programs that nurture the sport of hunting while educating youth about the responsibilities and privileges of enjoying the outdoors.
 

·
Smilin' Bob
Joined
·
25,077 Posts
·There were no charges or fines levied against Gregg Ritz;

·Neither Dirk MacTavish or Gregg Ritz made false statements to
Investigators, or any other authorities;

Who's telling the truth?

Game Trails, a more than 12,000-acre Limited Liability Corporation commercial hunting preserve in Union and Crittenden counties, controlled by sole proprietor owner and then Thompson/Center Arms President and CEO Gregg Ritz, and its site manager, William Dirk McTavish, Jr., 43, of Paducah, paid $50,000 in fines after pleading guilty to numerous misdemeanor violations of the Lacey Act of taking wildlife unlawfully, and for making false statements to Kentucky officers about the takings and interstate transporting of wildlife...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,633 Posts
Game Trails was informed that if it needed assistance in reducing the population, then it should consider allowing local authorities, their friends and family access to hunt
I think that statement speaks volumes.................
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,222 Posts
blah blah blah
 

·
THwack--CRASH
Joined
·
11,173 Posts
so if you have some money to spend you can hunt here ,but if you just want to help reduce the herd to a determined level you can't do that !!!!!!!!
.question why couldn't the surrounding farmers get extra tags and why did it get to that predicument in the first place......oh i already said that
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I think that statement speaks volumes.................
When the company that I work for owned it they tresspassing was unbelievable. Finally the let the "locals" hunt it and gave out 3 doe permits and you could kill one buck (sate reg.). The buck had to be 16" or wider.

You would not believe the dead deer that was found after the season was over.

Does, small bucks and even some big bucks. I'm sure that had a lot to do with T/C not letting the locals hunt. If you had that much money and time invested would you let just anyone hunt your lease?

I guess what your saying is that if someone has a lease and it has too many deer than anyone should be able to hunt it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
so if you have some money to spend you can hunt here ,but if you just want to help reduce the herd to a determined level you can't do that !!!!!!!!
.question why couldn't the surrounding farmers get extra tags and why did it get to that predicument in the first place......oh i already said that
Locals helping reduce the herd was tried before with terrible results....killing deer and leaving them lay, killing smal bucks, tresspassing when hunts wheren't scheduled, cattle gates left unlocked, littering, hunting in the area you wheren't drawn for, not checking in/out of the office, even had a fire started. I'm sure there is more that I'm not aware of.

Over 12,000 continous acres....kinda hard for the surrounding farmers to control the deer herd.

It's been in that predicument long before Game Trails ever leased it. That's why Alcoa tried to let the locals have several controlled hunts.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top