EL PASO - A Silver city man was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine for being in illegal possession of trophy elk antlers just outside the Gila national Forest.
In November 2015, conservation officers with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish stopped Michael Aguirre, 40, who had a 6-by-5-foot set of antlers still attached to part of the animal's skull in the bed of his pickup. Aguirre told the officers he picked up the antler rack while deer hunting with his son.
“Shed antlers may be picked up year-round without a permit or license, but when we see antlers with the skull still attached in the back of a truck when there are no hunts for that species going on, we get suspicious,” Conservation Officer Jordan Duncan said in a news release.
Aguirre was initially cited for illegal possession of game animal parts out of season, but the local district attorney's office declined to prosecute the criminal case.
Duncan then filed the case in magistrate civil court and was able to enhance the civil penalty to $4,000 due to the trophy size of the elk head.
Hidalgo County Magistrate Mark Thomas handed down the ruling against Aguirre, 40, in a recent civil case