Former local man heavily fined for shooting trophy buck

Photo courtesy of State Game Commission — Kane area Game Warden Jeffrey Orwig shows off a trophy 10-point buck that was illegally shot off Campbelltown Road in Hamlin Township. Former local resident Charles A. Sprester Jr. of Edinboro pleaded guilty to charges and was assessed nearly $6,000 in fines and fees.
Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

A former Kane area resident has been assessed $5,970.75 in fines and fees for illegally shooting a trophy 10-point buck in Hamlin Township.
Charles A. Sprester Jr., 49, pleaded guilty to the charges filed in Kane District Court by State Game Warden Jeffrey A. Orwig, according to public court documents.
The fines include $5,000 penalty for “poaching” a trophy buck. 
The State Game Commission levies this hefty fine for illegally shooting a buck that scores over 115 on the Boone and Crockett system for calculating rack size.
The buck illegally shot by Sprester scored 149 3/8 on the Boone and Crockett system, according to Orwig.
Sprester formerly resided on Campbelltown Road near Hutchins, according to court information.
Court records show his current address in Edinboro, Erie County.
Orwig, who resides in Port Allegany, said he handles state game warden duties in sections of McKean County that include Kane, Mt. Jewett, and Smethport.
Orwig said he was called to investigate the incident on Nov. 30 during the first week of the rifle buck hunting season. He said “witnesses” called the game commission to report seeing “an individual exit a vehicle and shoot a deer from the side of the road.” 
When he arrived at the site on Campbelltown Road in Hamlin Township, Orwig said: “the fresh snow told the story and confirmed the witnesses’ accounts of the incident.”
According to Orwig, Sprester and his brother, Nathan R. Sprester, 37, of 348 Campbelltown Road had “already” taken the illegal buck to their “camp” on Campbelltown Road.
Orwig said Charles Sprester had placed an “antlerless doe tag” on the buck even though he still possessed “an antlered buck tag.”
Orwig charged Charles Sprester with unlawful shooting across a highway, illegal possession of game and using a vehicle to locate game.
The defendant pleaded guilty to these charges and was assessed $970.75 in fines and fees, according to Kane court documents.
The state Game Commission assessed the $5,000 additional penalty for “poaching” a trophy buck, court documents show.
In addition to the fines, Sprester will “face the loss of hunting privileges as provided in the law,” according to a Game Commission report on the incident.
Orwig also charged Nathan Sprester with hunting without a license. He pleaded guilty and was assessed $340.25 in fines and fees, according to court documents.
Orwig said the state Game Commission “definitely appreciates” calls from the public about alleged hunting law violations. He said those who make “tips” can remain anonymous.
To report alleged hunting violations, call 1-888-8001.
Persons who make reports that lead to arrests qualify for cash rewards, Orwig said.