Owner of hunting guide company pleads guilty to Lace Act violations

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The owner of a hunting guide company in Elk County pleaded guilty Wednesday for violating state and federal laws while taking clients on hunting trips, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Josh Heges, 35, of Grenola owns Eagle Head Outfitters, LLC. Hedges pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Lacey Act and one count of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

He was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $15,000 restitution to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Restitution Fund. In addition, Hedges was forbidden to hunt, trap or guide for 12 years. He also agreed to divest himself of the company.

Hedges admitted to the following:

  • Directing his guides to place corn, wheat and soybeans around ponds as bait for waterfowl.
  • Directing his guides to help hunters to exceed their daily bag limits by offering to say they shot some of the birds the hunters shot.
  • Directing his guides to fail to tag, process and transport birds as required by state and federal law.

Hedges also admitted to shooting a hawk from his vehicle while sitting on a county road near Grenola.