Two central Illinois hunters banned for illegal practices

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. – The former host of a cable hunting show, Christopher Brackett, and the owner of a waterfowl outfitting service, Rick A. Hamm, have each been banned from hunting during their respective terms of probation.

Both central Illinois men were sentenced in separate, unrelated cases for federal hunting violations of the Lacey Act.

Forty-one-year-old Brackett of East Peoria, the former host of “Fear No Evil,” a cable show that aired on the Outdoor Channel, is banned from hunting worldwide and cannot possess firearms during his sentence of 30 months of probation. U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm further ordered Brackett to pay $3,500 in restitution to the State of Indiana and to pay a $26,500 fine.

Brackett was sentenced on Jan. 15 for unlawful transportation of wildlife, in violation of the Lacey Act. Brackett pleaded guilty in July 2019, to killing two bucks within minutes of each other, during the December 2013 filming of an episode of his cable show, when the state of Indiana permitted hunters to kill only one buck per season.

According to the Illinois Department of Justice (DOJ), Brackett also admitted he transported the second, 11-point buck to his home in East Peoria. Brackett featured it on his show in 2014. The DOJ said he also instructed his cameraman and producer to hide footage of the first buck killed, a smaller eight-point buck.

Hamm, 58 and of Chillicothe, owner of “Show Me Your Snows,” a waterfowl outfitting service, is banned from hunting and guiding worldwide during his sentence of 24 months of probation. U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid further ordered Hamm to serve five days in jail, to pay $2,500 in restitution to the State of Illinois and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and to pay a $50,000 fine. 

Hamm was sentenced on Jan. 16 to unlawful sale of wildlife, in violation of the Lacey Act. Hamm pleaded guilty in September 2019, to using an electronic caller to lure geese into shooting range during a guided hunt in December 2015, in Fulton County, knowing it was unlawful.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted the case investigations with the assistance of both the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Natural Resources.

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