Hunting Influencer Erik Van Woerkom Charged in Felony Poaching Case
The internet celebrity, who is a member of Muley Freak, is accused of trespassing to shoot a trophy-class mule deer on private land last fall
Erik Van Woerkom could be facing serious jail time and hefty fines after being accused of poaching in Idaho. Van Woerkom is a popular hunting personality and a member of the Muley Freak, which bills itself as a DIY western hunting brand. Van Woerkom has been charged with felony unlawful possession of a trophy mule deer and misdemeanor trespass, according to court documents obtained by GearJunkie, who first broke the story.
The charges stem from an incident that took place on October 12, 2022, when Van Woerkom was cited for trespassing on private land to hunt a muley buck. He was also cited for possession of that animal. The charges were originally both misdemeanors but one of them got bumped up to a felony due to the size of the buck—which measured 161 inches, which is 11 inches over the state’s 150-inch “trophy” benchmark.
The case, known as “State of Idaho vs. Erik D. Van Woerkom,” was filed in the Oneida County Court. If convicted, Van Woerkom reportedly faces up to five years in jail and $50,000 in fines. He also stands to lose his Idaho hunting privileges for life.
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This incident is the second high-profile poaching case involving an internet celebrity hunter in recent months. Field & Stream recently reported on a case against Josh and Sarah Bowmar, a celebrity hunting couple involved in what was billed as the “largest poaching case in Nebraska history.” The couple took a plea deal and is serving three years of probation.