By Kelley Christensen
A Dillon couple facing several felony counts of poaching game pleaded not guilty in Dillon district court Thursday morning.
Charles “Bill” Foster is charged with six counts of felony possession of game animals, one count of felony tampering with evidence, three counts of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game animals and one count of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game fish.
His wife, Sally Foster, is charged with six counts of felony possession of game animals, three counts of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game animals, one count of misdemeanor unlawful possession of game fish and one count of misdemeanor fishing without a license.
The Fosters were released on their own recognizance Thursday, with the conditions that they give their hunting rifle to a third party until after their trial, that they not discuss the case with friends or family members, and that they not hunt or fish or accompany any person doing so until after the trial.
No trial date has been set at this time.
The Fosters were summoned by the court after a yearlong undercover investigation into the couple and their friends that covered evidence stretching back to 2003. Wildlife officials say the Fosters routinely harvested more than their hunting tags allowed, or allowed out-of-state visitors to shoot deer using their tags.
The Fosters possessed 23 illegally harvested deer and elk since 2007, wildlife officials said, and are charged with other misdemeanors for deer poached before 2007. The Fosters also illegally possessed more than 65 game fish over the limit.
The couple could face jail time, fines and a loss of hunting privileges.