Hunter and Outfitter Found Guilty of Poaching
Edward Mazur of Blakely, Pa. and Joseph Chaya of Shickshinny, Pa. were found guilty of poaching a mountain lion back in an incident that occurred on October 19, 2014. Mazur was on an outfitted elk hunting trip in Albany County with Timothy Millikin of Millikin Ranch Outfitters, based in Glendo. Mazur said that on the evening of October 19, a mountain lion came within 20 feet of him, and asked Millikin what he should do, at which point Millikin advised Mazur to shoot the lion.
Mazur shot the lion at approximately 8:30 a.m. and asked Millikin for advice going forward. Millikin advised Mazur and Chaya to obtain a license for the mountain lion, Mazur and Chaya then drove to Glendo to purchase a license. Mazur received a nonresident mountain lion license at approximately 10:22 a.m. Mazur registered his kill with the Wyoming Game and Fish headquarters on October 20, signing an oath that the mountain lion was legally harvested.
While investigating another case in the area, Game and Fish warden Shawn Blajszczak reviewed Mazur's hunting record and became suspicious about the legality of the kill. He then interviewed each suspect individually, and though the stories were similar, the timelines of each story varied. Mazur eventually admitted to shooting the mountain lion on the morning of the 19, and both Mazur and Chaya confessed that Millikin instructed them to lie in the event of questioning by the game wardens. Millikin admitted to telling Mazur to kill the lion, as well as how to skin it and how to proceed after the poaching.
Mazur has been cited with knowingly taking a mountain lion without a license, fined $5,040, and ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution. His hunting privileges have also been suspended for 5 years and he has forfeited a Clymer's rifle with an attached Swarovski scope, valued at $5,000 and received a warning for giving a false statement on mountain lion registration.
Millikin was cited for accessory to knowingly taking a mountain lion without license, fined $5,040 and also ordered to pay $2,500 in restitution. In addition, his hunting privileges have also been revoked for 5 years and he received a warning for accessory to giving a false statement on mountain lion registration and for failure of an outfitter to report a violation. Chaya was given a warning for accessory to giving a false statement on mountain lion registration and for accessory to knowingly taking a mountain lion without license.