Hidden Hills Outfitters affiliate Jacob Hueftle has entered a plea bargain stemming from a federal investigation. Hueftle and Hidden Hills Outfitters each admitted to one felony conspiracy count involving the illegal transport, purchase, and sale of wildlife in interstate commerce. Hueftle faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Hidden Hills Outfitters as a business faces 5 years of probation and a fine of $500,000.
Years of poaching discovered
During the course of the investigation, officials found that Jacob Hueftle, Hidden Hills, and its employees provided unlawful guiding and outfitting services. Between September 2012 and April 2018 Hidden Hills clients took 97 big game animals in violation of Nebraska State Law. Illegal baiting was a common practice at Hidden Hills Outfitters. Subsequently, over 30 deer were killed by using illegal bait piles. Numerous mule deer were taken within a Mule Deer Conservation Area. To clarify, mule deer hunting is not allowed in these conservation areas. Meanwhile, pronghorn and turkeys were taken with prohibited weapons. Deer were also illegally killed during the night. Many of the animals were shot from roadways, this action is illegal in Nebraska. Some of the wildlife was taken by people who had no valid hunting license or permit. The following list shows the damage Hidden Hills Outfitters did to Nebraska wildlife.
- 34 mule deer were illegally taken.
- 30 whitetail deer were illegally killed.
- 27 turkeys were illegally shot while Hidden Hills was guiding clients.
- 6 pronghorn were illegally shot with prohibited weapons.
Hidden Hills poaching case fallout
This plea is the latest in an ongoing prosecution of numerous defendants. Currently, 29 people have pleaded guilty to charges levied against them for their roles in the case. The guilty parties have been sentenced to pay a combined $248,048 in fines and restitution so far. Some of the people involved are as follows. Jordan Cook, of Boerne, Texas was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts. Duane S.Mulvaine, of Fox Lake, Wisconsin admitted to six misdemeanor counts involving the illegal taking of wildlife in interstate commerce. Logan Spanel who guided for Hidden Hills and illegally killed a 195-inch mule deer was sentenced to five years probation. Spanel was also given a five-year hunting ban and was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine.