Shoot and Switch: Hunter Sues After Loss of Horns From A Threatened Marco Polo Sheep

Big Game Hunter Fraud660There is an interesting lawsuit in Nevada in which Rick Vukasin, a 65-year-old electrician and big-game hunter, is a Canadian outfitter and a hunting guide in Tajikistan for a type of “shoot and switch” ploy. Vukasin says that he paid $50,000 to kill a rare, threatened argali sheep known as “Marco Polo” but received a lesser trophy rack in the mail.

Vukasin killed the Marco Polo in December 2012 and said that it was a beautiful 400-pound, big-horned ram with perfect spiraling horns. However, rather than receive the 58-inch-long horns in the mail, he received horns with marks and clips — different horns from the one that he inspected in Tajikistan. He blames Ameri-Cana Expeditions Inc. of Edmonton, Alberta for switching the horns. While the company insisted that they had sent the originals, they later offered to sent a replacement. Vukasian wants the original forms or reimbursement. For him, there is a big difference between horns of any animal and the horns from the animal that he personally killed.

The argali are actually a threatened species and the country only sells 60 permits a year.

Vukasin tried to file a fraud claim with the FBI and suggested that he found other duped hunters. he contacted an FBI agent in Great Falls, who indicated he probably was a fraud victim but there was little authorities could do unless they found a number of other hunters who’d also been duped.

He is also suing Yuri Matison who is a well-known tracker. Matison was selected by the Wild Sheep Foundation to its Mountain Hunter Hall of Fame in 2009.

220px-Argali_Stuffed_specimenVukasin is seeking $75,000 in damages that include not just his money but damages for “worry, anxiety, loss of sleep, physical and mental distress” in not getting his trophy horns. That could raise some interesting questions. First there is the factual question of whether it can be shown that the horns were switched. Presumably, discovery might be able to confirm that fact and if not testing might show an age difference. Then there is the question of the value of horns when someone else killed the original animal. The horns, for him, are the embodiment of his adventure and proof of his skills. It could seem clear that a replacement trophy would not make him whole. The issue is how to quantify the pain and suffering of a hunter without a rack.

Source: USA Today

34 thoughts on “Shoot and Switch: Hunter Sues After Loss of Horns From A Threatened Marco Polo Sheep”

  1. What A SHAME to observe such TOTAL IGNORANCE regarding this issue. Some folks will never get it….sheep hunters spend millions of dollars to put and KEEP sheep on the mountain and most people do nothing but bitch about something they no nothing, and I mean nothing, about. Since males and females voicing their negative opinions above, I will regress. Mature older male species, those desired and obtained by most hunters, are into NO ASS ALL GRASS.

  2. WOW everyone here is good with buying a Bentley and upon delivery find its a Chevrolet impala.~~ hey its a car.~~Or~~ order the n.y. strip steak off the menu at an exclusive restaurant and then eat a ground chuck patty when its brought to the table. ~~hey your hungry ~~ and it is meat after all.~~ meanwhile the cook is dining on a n.y.strip back in the kitchen.~~ yea that’s completely lawful >> not!<<.

  3. Leaving out the morals of hunting-he paid for something and didn’t get it. It was obscenely expensive. He thinks he can prove he was defrauded. Good luck with proving it, and while it is hard to have sympathy for him, one has to wonder what kind of scam might be going on with the outfitters (if indeed there is a discrepancy).

    I don’t hunt, but as the daughter of hunters and fishers,I do know that showing off what they got matters to them. While I don’t quite get it, I have seen men holding up 6 inch fish and taking a picture. . .I actually have one of them. I don’t get it, but there it is.

  4. It appears this article was written with voice recognition software. I’m not normally one to complain about typos or grammar, but this article is truly annoying to read. it’s unintelligible and changes the meaning of the original article. I wrote this with voice recognition software, and corrected mistakes before I posted it.

  5. How about using a tranquilizer gun, taking a cast of the horns, and having that on your wall? Do you really think the fish on the wall were the real thing, stuffed? Guess again. Except for the teeth, the whole thing is a cast of what was caught.

  6. traveling limey

    So, are they preserving these rare animals in Tajikistan by offering this guy the chance to kill one or by cheating him out of the rack of the rare animal he killed?

  7. Hey traveling limey…I see they got you brain washed. Get your head out of your ass and educate yourself.

  8. Well, its not my bag either, but hunting enthusiasm these days, THESE DAYS, not the 1800s, tends to increase the population with hunters’ money becoming preservation money. If it wasn’t for the hunters you’d see less, not more, deer in America. Of course, this might be bad news if you just ran your car into one! I realise this is Tarjikistan, but the protecting trend is pretty worldwide, with notable exceptions in parts of war-torn Africa.

  9. Oh suck it up princess and stop your snivelling whining! At least you are not the defenceless animal that some egotistical creature is hunting just to display their ”skills” of hunting endangered animals. (bravo oh mighty {haha} hunter) Real men are shaking their heads at your little hissy-fit!

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