TV Hunting Personality Arrested for Poaching

TV hunting star and co-founder of Wildgame Innovations Bill Busbice, Jr. has been convicted of poaching and hunting without a license in Wyoming this week. Busbice is the host of multiple hunting television shows such as Country Buck$ on A&E and Wildgame Nation on the Outdoors Channel. Busbice was charged with poaching an elk calf and leaving it to waste. This is a slap to the face of most hunters, as conservation and ethical harvesting are important to the hunting community.

bill busbice

Bill Busbice, host of hunting shows Wildgame Nation and Country Buck$, has been convicted of poaching and hunting without a license.

According to sources, Bill Busbice, of Louisiana, was hunting on property he owns in Wyoming when a group of other hunters observed him shooting an antlerless female calf before shooting a bull elk. An unnamed younger hunter seemed to be filming Busbice’s hunt. Upon taking down the male elk, the hunters examined the carcasses and then left the scene. A different man later returned to harvest the male with a backhoe. Busbice admitted to authorities that he had accidentally shot the calf while attempting to kill the bull, and then instructed his partners to hide the calf in a nearby drainage ditch.

This is not the first time Busbice has run afoul of the law. He was cited earlier in 2016 for purchasing a resident hunting license, despite not being a resident of Wyoming. He was also issued a citation for purchase more than the allowed amount of deer tags, for which he paid $1,430 in fines. For the current charges, a judge ordered Busbice to a commuted jail sentence, one and a half years of unsupervised probation, and a fine $23,000 for restitution. Additionally, Bill Busbice will lose his hunting and fishing privileges in 45 different states for the next two years.wildgame_nation

Bill Busbice is known for his popular hunting shows Country Bucks$ and Wildgame Nation. Country Buck$ aired on A&E from 2015 to 2015. Busbice is also the host of Wildgame Nation, which airs on The Outdoor Channel. Like the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty fame, the Busbice family became hunting reality stars after growing their small hunting accessory business, Wildgame Innovations, to a multi-million dollar company.

As the conviction became public knowledge, many groups that had sponsored or worked with the Busbice family have cut ties and distanced themselves from the poacher. The Outdoor Sportsman Group and their Outdoor Channel released the following statement:

Following charges of poaching an elk in La Barge Creek, Wyoming, Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks has suspended the show Wildgame Nation and host Bill Busbice, Jr. from appearing on Outdoor Channel. The announcement was made today by Jim Liberatore, CEO and President of Outdoor Sportsman Group Networks. The suspension is effective immediately.

“Outdoor Sportsman Group is committed to legal and ethical hunting,” said Liberatore. “We have strict policies and procedures in place that require all of our talent and producers to abide by all hunting regulations. We hold our employees to the highest of standards in order to ensure that we are effectively serving the outdoor community. As a result of the recent charges in Wyoming involving Bill Busbice, Jr., we have suspended the show and Busbice indefinitely from Outdoor Channel.”

Plano Synergy, the company that purchased Busbice’s Wildgame Innovations business and employed him as the host of the Wildgame Nation television show, also sent out the following press release:

Over the course of the past 48 hours, Plano Synergy became aware of a situation which required swift and decisive action.

Today, Bill Busbice and Plano Synergy mutually agreed to end their association. Bill Busbice and his partners sold their outdoor brands to Plano Synergy in 2013. Since then, Bill has been providing services under contract to Plano Synergy, principally as a host of the Wildgame Nation television program, until today when that relationship was severed. Plano Synergy will also be cancelling the Wildgame Nation TV show.

Plano Synergy has a culture that is grounded in integrity and great respect for the outdoors. This comes with the expectation that we will always do the right thing. Our decisions will always reflect our commitments to our customers and consumers. We have a deep respect for the law, tradition and the ethical practices of our sports. We take pride in serving our industry and promote the fair and lawful practices of game hunting. Every day we strive to be a company that is trustworthy, respectful and fair with our consumers, employees, customers and business partners.

What do you make of this news of Bill Busbice? Do you agree with his punishment, or do you think it was too harsh? Tell us in the comments

97 Comments On This Article

    • Why not all 50 states for the next 10 years?
      Then flog him.
      He is not the only ass on sportsmen shows.
      Makes me sick

      • We don’t know how high his scope was cranked up and maybe that Little Baby Elk appeared as big as a dinosaur to him and he fired out of fear for his life. And afterward (after the fear of the LBE had passed) he hid the body so his friends would still feel he was manly.

    • Be aware…Constitutionalists, Patriots, Conservatives, Hunters,(especially professional hunters on TV) You are held at a higher level than Liberal Trolls. . If a Liberal is caught doing something wrong(which is all the time) it’s oh well a slap on the hand & be on your way…. nothing new. Hunt smart, & play by the rules.

  1. Being an old crudmugeon I do not look with favor upon thsse who kill multiple #’s of game ( trophy size) animals yearly in order to make million$.
    Feel the same way about
    professional Bass tournaments.
    Go fishing on those lakes after such tourney’s and you will catch multiples of bass with half their moths tore open due to hurry to land weigh and measure before tossing the smaller ones back.
    What I find odd is State fisheries that grant variances from normal regulations as to both size and numbers allowed caught, as a means for some of those po-dunckvilles of low wage paying tourist trap to raise their town coffrrs r evenues.

    • @hidebehind, I am not too sure where u see fish from tournaments with mouths all tore up but i personally have never seen such a thing nor heard of it, the television poaching thing is bullshit though for sure, tv outdoorsmen should set an example for others to see, not waste beautiful elk for an episode what a scumbag!

    • i believe ALL those hunting shows that have their hosts going from state to state killing(not Hunting ) multiple game animals should have their shows cancelled, after all.. they are using wildgame for profit…. at least make them pay a large production fee of some sort to the state fish and game.

  2. What happened to the VERY BASICS of shooting, KNOW YOUR TARGET and IS IT CLEAR for the shot. A seasoned hunter as this guy was knows better. If he was guiding a hunter for elk, he would have been checking ALL the angles before that shot would have happened and NOT killed a cow elk. It’s a disgrace to the hunting community when someone does an act like this…even if it is on your own land.

  3. No matter how much money you have. If you are a slob hunter you will always be a slob hunter.
    What were the 5 states he can still hunt and fish. I bet he has some sort of money ties with them.

  4. Mark Ethridge Woodward

    Maybe he should be given the same punishment as the antlerless female calf received except for being hidden in a drainage ditch. I say let the carrion pick his sorry ass clean…,

  5. The problem is that he will serve no jail time. If any one of us should do the same we most likely would serve time in jail.
    It seems like big shots always get off with a probated sentence or time served.

  6. He knew what he done was not right. He try to hide it. If I can across him in my state, I would issue a citation for every thing he did wrong. After 40+ years working for my state game & fish, I have came across thing like this.

  7. Agree with all except the commuted sentence. I have never hunted Wyoming, but I have also never taken a shot I thought would miss or hit anything than my intended target, nor have I ever taken a shot at an animal that I wasn’t sure about. Hard to confuse a legal bull and a calf.

    I have not seen the video or was I there but I think the explanation is hooie. If the calf was accidentally shot, how easy is it to report that. Perhaps a fine, but a totally different public response- speaks to the character of the man.

    And shame on The Outdoors Sportmans Group and Plano Synergy for having knowledge (or should have had) of the mans track record and still allowing him to represent their “serving of the out community” and “integrity/respect for great outdoors”

  8. What a heart breaking incident. The man obviously does not learn from his mistakes. His affiliation with others of such ilk should make others much more suspect of any ‘entertainment’ or educational value of anything presented.

  9. It’s a shame I’m a outdoorsman who loves to hunt and I strongly believe that the punishment was to soft and it happens a lot I am disappointed in him for abusing the system

  10. If he was just your average hunter that made a mistake, I would agree with the sentence handed down. However since he is a “professional” tv host/hunter Permanent loss of hunting privileges(all 50 states), and not less than 5 years imprisonment, plus a $250,000.00 fine minimum. It seems as though we have been through this with other “professional” hunters before.

  11. I think that he should be barred from hunting and fishing from all states for life.
    We ( Hunters and Fishermen) have to put up with all the crap from the non-sportsmen who are always ragging on us for being cruel and animal murders without these types of “KNOTHEADS” making it even worse!
    I say “DUMP ON THEM” , let them get jobs slapping burgers at Micky D”s.

  12. He certainly is not the first “professional hunter” to be caught and punished for such offensive behavior. My only complaint is that he lost hunting privileges for only two years instead of for a lifetime. We are all held to be guilty of this behavior by non-hunters.

  13. He should have gotten to spend some time in jail like most other Poachers, and have his guns and Vehicles confiscated also.

    • absolutely , actually wasn’t there a conspiracy here with 3 or more persons, he should forfeit all profit from his business as well as all equipment and arms used in the commission of the crime.

      • Agree wholeheartedly. I’m sure if average Joe did the same thing his punishment
        would be a lot stiffer. Also, he has a previous record of violations. That should
        indicate that he needs stronger punishment to affect his rehabilitation.

      • Agree wholeheartedly with prosecution of the others plus confiscation and especially for jail time for all, up to and including the backhoe

    • Mack and Scott, you have both addressed the same thing I was thinking!
      If I or my family are found guilty of game law violation we would lose ALL the assets used to accomplish the act, INCLUDING vehicle(s), gear, and firearms!AS WELL as any fine AND incarceration proscribed by the current laws.
      I have taught my kids AND NOW teach my grandkids the ethics and the consequences of game law and conservation.

    • I agree with you 100 percent if that were me or you we would have went to jail that’s not fair the judge needs to be disbarred

  14. I’m pleased that his sponsors and various TV shows have suspended him. There is so much anti hunting sentiment out there scofflaws like this are the last thing we need. He needs to just go away and stay away !!!

  15. I’m just glad he was caught and his law breaking was stopped. This guy has no integrity and would have continued to violate game laws and cheat to win against these magnificent animals. I suggest he just fade away.

  16. His punishment was not harsh enough.Personally,I’d like to kick his ass up and down a mountainside.HUGE no-no,asshole.

  17. Punishment way too lean; television “personalities” should be held to higher judgemental standards since they represent our sport in the public media domain.
    Mr. PRO HUNTER in this case needed to be made an example of; Double the sentence at least.
    Throw in some jail time.

  18. He’s a JACKASS! Should never be allowed to hunt or carry any type of weapon ever again including for self-defense. Break his legs and throw him in the drainage ditch!

  19. Orrin M. Knutson


    It breaks our heart to think, but we suspect he is far from the only show(off)man of the competitive TV sports crowd, who has pulled illegal stunts to “get the shot” for their shows.

    They are all competing in a cut-throat industry, vying for ratings, just like all the “fake news crowd”.

    God Help Save Us from Greed,

  20. Hunting ethics ends where money begins. Commercial hunting of any type eventually leads to attempts to favor the elite and exclude the general public, and to illegal activity. Busbice should have been charged with a felony, which upon conviction would have required prison time and a lifetime loss of gun ownership rights.

  21. What’s good for one is good for all. But because he has money…B.S. The law is the law.. Hunting license revoked, weapons seized etc. Fair is fair..

  22. This criminal should rot in jail just as he left the elk to rot in Wyoming. Not only is Busbice an unethical criminal, but he has broken a trust with the hunting community and the public at large. He had additional responsibility to uphold the law and conservation practices, and should have held himself to a higher standard considering his “celebrity” status as a TV hunting personality. I despise selfish people like Busbice, and agree with Mack and Scott that his guns and vehicles should be confiscated like they would have been if any other poacher had committed this crime.

  23. My question is. …were they hunting on his property?
    If not, how did they see him do it?
    He was wrong. But, sounds a little strange.

    • JohnC

      To answer your question or doubts. The location of the ranch allows for someone to set up on a higher slope on public ground and observe activities on the ranch. Not all of the ranch but a good portion of it. With good optics you can see alot.

    • Not really considering the type of terrain in CO. I mean there are places there that you can see a long ways from upon a mountain. So I didn’t see it as being strange myself.

  24. He may have lost his ethics because he was a T.V. celebrity as most of these Hollywood scumbags do. As far as punishment is concerned, treat him like the rest, on the receiving end of a glory hole.

  25. There are hunters who have accidentally hit another animal when trying to shoot one particular one. It happens, especially with herd situations. And I bet that most have shot again in these situations to get the one they wanted. The question then becomes… Do you go and confess to the authorities, for certain risking your outdoor career and a possible fine? Or do you just hide the other carcass, hoping no one knows. I think most of us would choose the second option. So let’s not be too hypocritical here with a pointing finger.

  26. Since this is not his first offence he should do jail time, forfeit his weapons, pay big fines to Dept of Fish and Game / DNR as well as lose all hunting and weapons use including target practice for 10 years.

  27. with his past record, they should terminate his hunting and fishing rights for the rest of his life!!!!!! This scum is one reason sportsman are under attack. For every piece like him, there are far more responsible sportsman. If this is a felony, he should lose his right to own firearms forever too. I have ZERO sympathy for him!!!!!!

  28. Armand Tetreault

    Shouldn’t have said like the Duck Dynasty family. They are nothing like the Robinsons in attitude and morality.

  29. “HuntI
    “Hunting” television has done nothing positive for our sport. This is another prime example. We should all get our butt up off the couch and boycott it.

  30. JohnC

    As a Wyoming resident and a hunter who has hunted for over 25 years in the area where Busbice’s ranch is located. This is just latest in a long line of moral, ethical, and legal infractions this family has committed. In the past complaints to the WYGFD, have been ignored or never fully investigated. It does my heart good to see that recent changes in the regional management of the Green River Region Game & Fish dept. have resulted in some actual fact finding and resulting punishments.
    I however, would disagree with the penalties meted out. Anyone else who had this amount of infractions would have received a far stiffer penalty. Especially in the loss of hunting & fishing privileges. Two years is not near enough as far as the monetary penalty, he’s got lots of money and he won’t even notice that amount.

  31. It is not simply unfortunate that Mr. Busbice has repeatedly chosen to ignore the law and longstanding ethical practices of the American hunting community. His actions have cast a dark cloud over us all by setting such a poor example for all to see while bringing into question our standing as true conservationists. He has destroyed any confidence in his reputation as a worthy example to future hunters. Let him suffer his errors in harsh reward under well deserved justice.

  32. You people are mostly so critical and angry. I hope none of you ever are on a jury or make a mistake yourself and if you do I hope you get someone just like you for your jury. None of the facts are in and I know both this website and you do not know the exact facts or situation for this case yet. Some of the comments are saying to kill him..WTF? Most have him convicted and in jail. Yet no one knows the facts. The reason we are losing our rights are because of you people. Your insane rush to judgement and severe punishments for a mistake( according to his statement and the article.

    God please protect us from US

  33. For the most part poaching laws were and are written to insure the continued survival of game animals. If a person needed to poach animals to feed their family I can see being lenient regarding fines and incarceration. But too many people poach animals for purely selfish reasons, survival of themselves and/or their dependents. While most hunters are following the laws the few greedy ones who poach animals should have the book thrown at them. Celebrity should make no difference in the punishment. And if folks disagree with certain hunting laws they can get together, convince others to share their point of view, and get the laws changed.

  34. I’ve watched several of his programs and finally quit watching as it was evident he was no sportsman and had no respect for the animals he was hunting…he should get jail time!

  35. I totally agree with the sentencing for the poaching crime, talks cheap he should of walked away . When it doubt ,walk away AND TELL THE DAMN TRUTH

  36. All firearms, and equipment should have been confiscated, since he is not a legal reasident he should have his hunting and fishing privileges taken away for the state in which he committed these crimes , obviously he has done this before , just never caught. Mr.Big TV host , ///////// HE’S A BIG WASTE OF SKIN //////// And a piece of shit. Rg

  37. Given his past with the law I laugh about how Outdoor Channel and Plano are suddenly shocked! Sounds like they are more upset that their cash ‘cow’ is now dead. Pathetic.

  38. Its not what you do when everyone’s looking that displays your character;
    its what you do when they’re not looking ……………

  39. JERK
    Who and why does he think he is above the law.
    Good job to the hunter that turned him in and to Wyoming conservation.

  40. Time for real judgement from the hunting community! Punish the snot out of millionaire who ruins things for the honest man. Scumbag,……

  41. I subscribe to the single cockroach theory. If you see one, you can be sure there are many more you don’t see. Time for Bill to take the money and retire.

  42. Well, for starters, he got caught. THIS TIME! That usually means it has happened elsewhere. Should lose ALL hunting/fishing privileges for at least ten years. At least he was caught. AND it was published and public knowledge. He will regret it more and more as time goes by. As he should. Nuff said…

  43. Clark Daughenbaugh

    They should terminate his hunting and fishing rights for the rest of his life!!!!!! He should forfeit all equipment and arms and should lose his right to own firearms forever too.

  44. I agree with Jail time , Fines , Seizure of vehicle and weapon ! ! And No Hunting license For LIFE because he should know BETTER ! And take away his bottle of black hair dye for LIFE , OLD FART

  45. Hey post my comment . What did I say that needs “moderation ” . if you are going to moderate my comment then make up your own comments ?

    • Sorry, I was away from my computer for my lunch break. All comments from new users are held for moderation. This reduces spam and phishing attacks that you see in other comment sections, like “My cousin makes $5000 a month just from using her computer. You too can make this money by clicking here.” We don’t want those types of posts clogging up the comments from our readers, so we hold all new comments back. As you have now been approved, your comments should be able to be posted immediately.

  46. He did the crime not do the time, if he never legally hunts again it’s his fault. He tried covering it up instead of owning up.

  47. This clown is an absolute disgrace to the entire hunting community and to those of us who believe in responsible as well as ethical conservation of all species of animals. Clearly this man made these senseless illegal kills entirely because of an opportunity he perceived as no risk of getting caught. He should lose his ability to hunt anywhere in the u.s for life, as well as some felony prison time. The good news is that this idiot will be hit very very hard in his bank account and most likely will never again be hired to host so much as a curling tournament in siberia

  48. Well according to the release he has been arrested, convicted, n fined, so to that there is no speculation, as a hunter I strive to teach my son n grandson responsibility n ethnicity, in the field or in life n it’s not right that he can come along n get a slap on the hand, a few fines n be on his way, as a purchaser of his endorsed items, I won’t continue to purchase things from him and grease his pockets, while he is out breaking the law, n because several companies have pulled their products I say hell yeah, a few others should close out their deals with him also, many people looked up to him but in this day and time he has given all of us hunters a black eye.

  49. I think this is soooo sad. I believe in mercy but just because he thought he was going to get away with it is worst of it all. He should have to pay a fine and also have is hunting license revoked for at least two years. As for my brother Pettit please understand that GOD hates a proud person. But I do believe as you do… God help us!

  50. Someone may have already said it. But I think he should have to do a TV episode about poaching and pay for it out of his pocket . Then publicly apologize to all of us hunters for giving us that black eye, that we don’t need.