Crawford Man Indicted In New Mexico

A hunter, guide, and author from Delta County who once held a number of records for large mule deer is now being indicted on a number of felonies in New Mexico.

Crawford residents Kirt Darner and his wife Paula were indicted yesterday on a number of felony counts by a Cibola County, New Mexico GrandJjury.

Several of the counts deal with the theft of two big–game heads owned by the Colorado Division of Wildlife found in a truck owned by the Darners. The head of a desert bighorn sheep and a rocky mountain bighorn sheep were at SW Taxidermy to be display mounted when they were taken from the Montrose business in the year 2000.

This is only the latest run–in for the hunter,who is well–known to Colorado wildlife authorities. In 2001 Darner's guide license was revoked for three years after a hunter he was guiding shot at an elk decoy from a truck window. The hunter being guided also did not have a permit for that hunt unit.

Darner has long been controversial. In the 1980's he removed several Boone and Crockett mule deer from the club's records after questions arose about the legality of one of the specimens.

In addition to theft by receiving on the stolen heads, the Darners also face charges of tampering with evidence and illegally moving four elk from public propertyin New Mexico to a private ranch.

Kirk Darner could face 33 years in jail on nine felony charges. His wife Paula could serve up to 24 years in jail on six felony charges. The couple have yet to areested on the indictments and remain on their Delta County property.