Huntress, hunter plead not guilty
SUBLETTE COUNTY – Timberline Lodge owner and hunting guide Melanie Peterson pleaded not guilty to 19 charges alleging she violated Wyoming Game and Fish hunting regulations over the past decade.
Peterson, who lives in Daniel and Decatur, Texas, appeared via videoconference Monday, Aug. 9, for her Sublette County Circuit Court arraignment. Her attorney, Joey Darrah of Powell, entered the pleas on her behalf.
The alleged violations resulted from investigation into nonresident hunts Peterson arranged and guided in 2011, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018, court records show.
Peterson is listed on the Timberline Lodge’s website as a “seasoned guide and outfitter.”
She is also known for competing in – and winning – the title of 2018 Extreme Huntress 2018 in an international women’s competition that tests outdoor skills, fitness and marksmanship.
She is charged with seven counts of taking game without a license or during a closed season, two counts of taking a furbearing animal without a license and two counts of guiding without a professional license. As a guide or outfitter, Peterson is also charged with eight counts of failing to report the violations, according to the case filed July 27 in Sublette County Circuit Court.
Penalties recommend jail time and fines – and the first seven require suspensions of hunting privileges for at least five years, according to records.
In a connected case, Eddie Patterson was charged last week with knowingly taking big game without a license, three counts; professional guide or outfitter failing to report a violation, two counts; false statement to obtain antelope, deer, wolf, bear license; false statement to obtain an elk license; miscellaneous violation and failure to wear fluorescent orange clothing.
Patterson was also scheduled Monday to appear before Judge Curt Haws; his attorney submitted not guilty pleas on his behalf, court records show.
Both cases will continue to jury trials; their court dates were not scheduled as of Monday, Aug. 9.