Jeffrey Foiles seemed to have the life most of us can only dream of. He hunted for a living and by all accounts created a fairly comfortable life doing so. He made his own duck calls, guided other hunters, and even starred in the successful Fallin’ Skies video series. But last week, in U.S. District Court in Illinois, Foiles blackened the eyes of waterfowl hunters everywhere after admitting to two misdemeanor charges related to the violation of federal wildlife laws.
On June 23, Foiles entered the courtroom to face a 23-count indictment against him and his business, the Fallin’ Skies Strait Meat Duck Club LLC. When U.S. Magistrate Byron Cudmore asked Foiles if he admitted to doing the things listed in the plea agreement Foiles replied, “Yes sir.” Foiles’ attorney, Steven Beckett, then entered guilty pleas for Foiles’ business to the felony charges of unlawfully selling wildlife through illegally guided hunts and falsifying records. According to the Springfield, Illinois newspaper The State Journal-Register Foiles admitted to:
• Participating or guiding hunts where participants routinely shot more than their limit of ducks 15 times between 2003 and 2007.
• On Dec. 7, 2007, he hunted both during the morning and afternoon with a group of hunters who killed 39 ducks, nine in excess of the sum of the hunters’ individual daily bag limits.
• On Nov. 24, 2007, Foiles and two others killed at least 22 mallards, 10 in excess of their combined daily bag limits. The practice, known as “party hunting,” is illegal.
• During the hunt, Foiles is heard on videotape talking about shooting the bag limit of a person who was present but not hunting.
• The plea agreement states that false records were kept and that Foiles knew the behavior was wrong.
For his actions Foiles will pay $100,000 in fines, serve 13 months in jail, serve a year of supervised release, film public service announcements in which he admits to his wildlife violations and encourages the observance of wildlife laws, and forfeit his hunting and guiding privileges for two years following his release from jail. I’m not sure if that’s enough. What do you think? Comment below.