Bill Busbice – Stay of Hunting Shows – Guilty of Poaching & Fired from Show

To the tactical community, it would be sacrilegious to fire a round that you know would damage the range. In most 3-gun competitions its an instant disqualification, purchase of the target, and shame for the negligent shot. In the hunting community, similar rules exist – primarily that animals are taken humanely and with the appropriate legal tags.

Bill Busbice, the previous host of Wildgame Nation on the Outdoor Channel, has been sentenced for poaching – specifically taking an antlerless elk on his own property in Wyoming and not reporting it along with allowing the game to go to waste. The incident was caught on video which was used as evidence. This is not Busbice’s first run-in with hunting regulations. According to OutdoorHub:

Busbice was cited before this incident in 2016 for purchasing a resident elk tag even though he was not a resident. He was also cited for purchasing more than the authorized number of deer tags and paid $1,430 in fines for those violations.

As part of the fallout of this episode, coupled with Busbice’s other run-ins, Plano Synergy (which bought Busbice’s outdoor brands a few years back) has formally terminated their relationship with the troubled hunter and cancelled his show, Wildgame Nation.

An Important Message from David E. Dudick, Chief Executive Officer

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.

We thank you for your trust.


David E. Dudick

Chief Executive Officer

Busbice has been sentenced two one and a half years of unsupervised probation, $23,000 in fines, and the forfeiture of his hunting license until 2019. Due to various reciprocal state agreements, this means Busbice will lose hunting rights in 45 states.

For additional details, follow the link to OutdoorHub. 

Title photo from A&E’s show Country Bucks. 


TFB’s FNG. Completely irreverent of all things marketing but a passionate lover of new ideas and old ones well executed. Enjoys musing on all things firearms, shooting 3-gun, and attempting to be both tacticool AND tactical.


  • Greg Anderson

    If it pleases the crown, I would like to pay my tax for paying too many taxes for hunting on my own property.

    • Ben Rogers

      Legally, wild game are owned by state governments, not landowners.

      • RSG

        Whoosh. Exactly the point Greg was making.

      • Blackhorse

        Not entirely true.
        Ohio hunting regulations
        “1. Ohio resident landowners, spouses, and their children are not required to have a hunting license, fur taker permit, either-sex deer permit, antlerless deer permit, spring or fall turkey permit, or Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp when hunting or trapping on land they own.”
        Now they are still required by law to follow all the other regulations ie type of safety orange, gun/bow, caliber, season, limits, restrictions, and use at least a handwritten tag with date, time, county, location and promptly report it.
        Now this dim witted twit would still be prosecuted in Ohio for out of season and any other regulations he may of broken while “poaching”.

        • Just Say’n

          In Wyoming (and every western state that I know of) the game belongs to the public and is managed by the state. Landowners don’t receive any special permissions, except in Utah for example they can be given a certain number of tags they can sell/use for allowing an equal number to be sold to the public to hunt on their land, based on acreage (see Cooperative Wildlife Management Unit).

          Also in Wyoming in some areas a “deer tag” can be used to take a doe or buck on private property, but only buck on public land. Not sure if it’s the same for bull and cow elk.

          • Blackhorse

            That’s why I said,
            “Not entirely true.
            Ohio hunting regulations”.
            I had copied & pasted (hence the quotations) the specific regulation. There are others exemptions.
            I know laws are different in different states and thus my reply.

  • Tassiebush

    Cripes! $23k in fines for one animal in his own land! I don’t know what elk numbers are like but that seems very steep!

    • Rafael Gonzalez

      He owns the land, not the animals. Moreso tagging arent just bureaucratic hoops its about population research and wildlife management. Any ethical sportsman would agree

      • Giolli Joker

        This without considering that he let the game to go to waste… that’s the moral crime, from my perspective.
        At least make good use of the meat!

      • Tassiebush

        I do appreciate that it’s a common resource. Just seems like a very large fine. But I live in a very different place where the game is pretty abundant. You’d have to take commercial quantities of game or seafood or fully protected species to get that type of penalty.

    • Jim Slade

      People are mis-using the word “hunting” here. He was “poaching” on his own land.

    • B-Sabre

      He previous violations (buying resident tags as a non-resident and buying too many tags) probably figured into it. “You obviously didn’t learn your lesson last time. Maybe this will make it stick.”

      • Tassiebush

        Very true the prior makes it much more of an issue

  • So this moron had a hunting themed TV show on a moderately sized cable/satellite channel– one which presumably had contract stipulations regarding “public image”– and he thought it would be a good idea to film himself obviously breaking game laws?

    Wellp– here’s your stupid prize, buddy.

  • Renegade

    He deer’d to kill a King’s dare?

    • John

      And left it to spoil. I don’t recall Robin of Lockesley ever wasting meat, nor his merry men.

    • Kurt Akemann

      +1 for the Robin Hood: Men in Tights reference.

  • Jim Slade

    “Busbice will lose hunting rights in 45 states”

    Just curious- what are the other 5 states and the reason the reciprocity doesn’t apply?

    • John

      Pretty sure one of those are California, and because he didn’t pay the California Tax.

  • Dan

    You don’t need a hunting license to hunt wild hogs in Texas. Just sayin’.

    • Horned Frog

      That is partially true, about hunting feral hogs in Texas. They can be killed for population control without a license. A hunting license is required to hunt one for food or trophy.

      • Lt. Dan

        Wait what? They can be killed for population control without a license? But one must pay to eat them? Back to the “if it pleases the crown” jokes

  • Dougscamo

    The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation….thank God for its adoption!

  • Ben Rogers

    Absolutely! How long would our wild game last if any landowner could kill anything they wanted in any amount? When my father was a child, there were almost no deer in our state. Now we have them in abundance.

    • jj

      That’s because large deer populations are not natural to North America. Elk yes, deer no.

      • The Rambling Historian

        Source? Also Elk technically are just a kind of deer. Are you talking millions of years back they weren’t common because they have a long presence in the natural record?

        Sizeable white tail deer are mentioned in records right at the beginning of the colonial era. Millions were killed for the fur trade, especially in the Midwest trade centered on the Upper Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes into the 1840s. Mass hunting depleted their numbers over time just like most other American game animals, but they rebounded once regulations and conservation efforts began. My understanding, limited at best, in terms of elk is that their numbers decreased due to deforestation as Americans moved westward but they once spanned most of the continent.

  • RSG

    Why this article here at TFB? Hunting has nothing to do with the Second Amendment and this specific topic has nothing to do with firearms.

    • El Duderino

      In the Venn diagram of firearms enthusiasts, hunting shows fall right in there. So yeah, relevant enough.

      I still hate the chaw ads in American Rifleman and other gun rags. And those “spice up your love life” ones at the back. Like we’re all a bunch of limp-d**k OFWGs with a pinch of Cope in our lips.

      • Bill

        Don’t forget the string trimmer on wheels.

        • BryanS

          THats at least range management, right?

  • Slab SquatThrust

    Growing up as the son of an avid hunter and professional conversationalist, this behavior sickens me. If we didn’t have guidelines and boundaries (i.e. hunting limits), most game animals would have gone extinct years ago, and no more hunting for future generations.

    The worst part is he didn’t even use the meat. I think if you were trying to feed your family, going through some really rough times, etc, that’s one thing (and in the state I live that’s legal w/o a tag or season if you meet the hardship conditions).

    Think of how many homeless/veteran’s shelters out there could have used the meat.

    • Cal.Bar

      Sadly Slab, as you see from the stupid Robin Hood references here, many hunters hereabouts simply don’t care about conservation as long as THEY get to shoot the last of whatever it is they want to shoot

    • Arturo Suarez

      what does a professional talker has to do with hunting and the outdoors?

  • El Duderino

    “David E. Dudick”

    Say that fast out loud…

    • ZB

      Kinda has a “zip-a-dee-doo-dah” vibe to it.

      • El Duderino

        Only for the waysis Disney movie fans.

  • Captain Obvious

    Universal Rule #1-Never video tape anything that you wouldn’t want your mom to see on the 6 o’clock news.

  • 22winmag

    Firearms not Poacher-tics

  • KiwiGuy

    Never trust a man who dies his hair one shade too dark 🙂

    • mazkact

      I don’t trust men who dye their hair period, or get manicures for that matter.

  • None

    Hmm, gets a stiffer sentence than if he was dealing drugs.

    • h4rr4r

      People dealing drugs don’t steal from the public.

      Also he will not serve any jail time, too bad about that.

    • Blake

      Uh I’m not sure where you got your perception of American punishments for drug dealers, but you are beyond wrong. How exactly is this harsher than being sent to jail for an extended time?

      • None

        Lol, you think drug dealers go to jail for extended periods of time?

        • Blake

          No, that’s not an opinion it’s a fact. I have three acquaintances that served 2+ year sentences for only sales intent charges. That’s not opinion.

  • RazorHawk

    What? this is stupid, he was not hunting, he was killing a pest animal on his own property. These regulations are stupid. Hunting regs should only apply to public property. Not to land that you own yourself. Wandering pest animals, whether it is stray deer or stray cat and dogs, should get zero govt protection.

  • Jim_Macklin

    To quote Forest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Poaching is stupid but understandable when the animal is needed as food and it is all consumed. But to let it go to waste is really stupid.
    STUPID is video taping your crime.
    A lucrative cushy job gone is really stupid.

  • MisterTheory

    Could you please at least try to get the headlines correct? Did you really mean “stay” or possibly “star”?

  • JamesDrouin

    It’s difficult to understand how someone like that goes so far off the rails … in fact, it’s so difficult, I cannot help but believe there’s a lot of back-story missing.