SANTA FE (KRQE) – Penalties for poaching big game in New Mexico would increase under a bill moving through the legislature.
A house committee voted unanimously Thursday to crack down on hunters who illegally kill bighorn sheep, ibex, oryx, barbary sheep, elk, deer and pronghorn antelope.
Poaching the animals would become a fourth-degree felony under the bill by Republican Rep. Alonzo Baldonado of Valencia County.
A fourth-degree felony carries a prison sentence of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $5,000.
Right now the crime is a misdemeanor.