Busbice: Beyond the Law?

It’s happened once again. A TV show host broke the law in order to make a show. And while we’ve seen it happen countless times already with no-name outdoor shows trying be the next big thing, this time it’s different. This time it happened with one of the biggest business owners in the outdoor industry, and one of the biggest landowners in the state of Louisiana. That’s right. “Big Bill” Busbice has found himself in big trouble.

bill busbice

Here’s a look at the report that was posted at the Archery Wire this morning and is making the rounds in social media…

A Louisiana resident and star of a reality hunting television show pleaded guilty in a Kemmerer court to intentionally allowing an antlerless elk go to waste and an additional charge of taking an elk without the proper license, according to a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Billy A. Busbice, Jr., of Olla, La., who owns a hunting product company and appears in “Wildgame Nation,” entered the pleas before Lincoln County (Wyo.) Circuit Court Judge Frank Zebre May 23, according to the news release from the department’s Green River Office.

Zebre sentenced Busbice to 180 days of jail suspended, providing that he lead a law-abiding life during one-and-a-half years of unsupervised probation.

The judge ordered him to pay the maximum fines for both violations and the maximum in restitution for the illegal take of both elk for a total of $23,000.

Zerbe also revoked all of Busbice’s game and fish license privileges for 2017 and 2018. Because Wyoming is part of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, this revocation applies in 45 states, including his home state of Louisiana.

The case started Oct. 16 when hunters told Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird they saw a possible wildlife violation on the Spring Creek Ranch, which is owned by Busbice, on La Barge Creek. They saw a man hunting and a younger man with a video camera appearing to film a herd. The hunter shot one elk, presumably a cow, and then shot a bull. They saw the two walk to look at the bull and then leave.

Another man came, field-dressed the bull and hauled it away with a backhoe, Baird said.

“The hunters told me the first elk, which was later determined to be a cow, still lay in the meadow after the man had taken the bull away with the backhoe.”

On Oct. 17, Baird met with Busbice, who admitted to accidentally killing a calf elk while trying to harvest the large bull.

After the sun set, Busbice said he told the ranch manager and the cameraman to drag the carcass to an irrigation ditch to conceal it. They made no attempt to field-dress or preserve the meat.

The cameraman and the ranch manager corroborated Busbice’s story.

“Mr. Busbice told me they had been filming the elk hunt to feature on his reality TV hunting show,” Baird said.

Busbice admitted that he did not call Baird because he was concerned about having recently been cited for previous wildlife violations.


In 2016, Busbice was cited for false oath for purchasing a resident general elk license as a nonresident and purchasing more than the authorized number of deer licenses. He paid $1,430 in fines for those violations.

Say what you want, but a 2-year license suspension hardly seems like anything close to what should have been dealt in this case. Sure, the report says that he was fined the maximum at $23,000, but a 2-year suspension is a slap on the wrist for such an act. Bill Busbice deliberately broke the law, on several counts, and this is all he gets? Others have been involved in hunting crimes that were far less in severity and quickly got slapped with a 5-year hunting suspension.

So why is it different here?

180 days of jail suspended if you promise to be a good boy for the next year and a half.

Surely money and power haven’t swung the law in Busbice’s favor, right? And is it that money and power that would make a man think he is above the law? Is there a, “It’s my ranch…I’ll do whatever I want,” mindset in play here?

Bill Busbice got off easy on this one, no doubt. The question is how will hunters and the hunting industry respond? Will they continue to buy products from a man that has so blatantly given hunters a black eye? And how will the Outdoor Channel handle this situation? Will they continue to allow Busbice’s Wildgame Nation TV show to be a part of their network?

Time will tell the tale on whether or not one man can truly live beyond the law. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on this case.


  1. Jason Coons says:

    I for one, have tried to make budget conscience purchases and in the past have bought Ameristep products. No longer will I buy plano, Ameristep, or anything else this man owns. I do understand honest mistakes, but when you dont call the game warden because of your prior mistakes, this is just blatant thinking you can do whatever you want. I wish the outdoor channel would cancel any show he is a part of, as he is everything I have taught my kids not to be. Dishonest, non ethical hunter for a damn tv show. We eat what we kill, and thats why we hunt. Beyond that, you’re just trophy hunting.

    • Charles ek says:

      You have made an unfortunate and serious mistake in blaming Plano and Ameristep for this. Plano owns Ameristep just like it owns Wildgame Innovations. Bill Busbice owns no part of Plano, as far as I can tell. (If he does own any of its stock, it’s nowhere near a controlling share.)

      When Plano found out about this, they immediately severed the relationship they had with him that dated back to their acquisition of Wildgame Innovations:

      “The chief executive officer of Plano Synergy sent out a strongly-worded press release Thursday [i.e., back in June] announcing his company’s decision to part ways with Billy Busbice Jr. — the host of Wildgame Nation on the Outdoor Channel — in the wake of his recent Wyoming poaching sentence.

      “The company, which offers an extensive line of hunting and fishing equipment from the likes of Frabill, Barnett Crossbows, HALO Optics and more, didn’t mince words in the letter sent out by CEO David E. Dudick.

      “’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,” Dudick wrote. “Plano Synergy will also be canceling the Wildgame Nation TV show.’”

      link to louisianasportsman.com

  2. Brian D. Havens says:

    Unfriended their web page this morning……Bad example!!

  3. Kenny Harris says:

    He got off to easy for what he did and no the outdoor channel will do nothing just like they did to spook spann and others its all about BIG money and ratings i dare say that 95 % of the hunting and fishing shows are staged any way.

  4. Jeff novosel says:

    It’s people like him that give hunting a bad name makes all hunters look bad. The outdoor channel should screen there shows better. Because they have more than one show that does more harm than good for the hunting image.

  5. Bill busbice has and always will be an arrogant ass who thinks he can do whatever he wants.thats the mentality of someone who is supposed to be a good example for our youth.he should have had to sit his ass in jail and his hunting privileges should have been revoked for no less than ten years in every state and I would hope that the outdoor channel doesn’t keep his show on at all.
    It’s a simple case of right and wrong and he of all people should know that and live by the laws that everyone else has to.Its obvious that he doesn’t get the point if he continues to go against the grain and break the laws time and time again..

  6. Tim Reynolds says:

    You are right! He is NOT a first time offender but is being treated like one. Should have had to serve the time then probation then paid the fines and loose hunting privleges for five years and guns used to kill elk taken!!!!!!

  7. Robb Regan says:

    Extremely disappointing he should get max fines and jail time. Definitely black eye for all outdoorsman and show should be suspended. What assame

  8. Thanks Bill for screwing the rest of us hunters over. We have to pay also.

  9. Kirk Busta says:

    What a piece of Garbage! Get off our side scumbag, it’s people like you that that extremely hurt the hunting cause. I hope the Outdoor Channel drops his show and the hunting community stops buying their products!

  10. I Hate this! If you are willing to break the law to kill an animal that’s not hunting, it’s poaching. Glad he was caught. I have little respect for this man.

  11. B.Cooper says:

    I totally agree with the author of this article. Due to the fact that this guy has put himself in the public spot light as to what a hunter is and how a hunter should act he should be dealt a greater penalty. If the courts won’t do it maybe hunters should teach him a lesson by punishing his wallet. I would call on all hunters to boycott Wildgame products.

    • Good grief, slow down fellow outdoors men and woman! Why attack bill so hard, because his family is successful? Because he lives for the outdoors and has made a living bringing us awesome products? We are all cut from the same piece of cloth! Y’all sound like a bunch of anti hunters, peta lovers! Yes he made a mistake, $23,000 in fines is no joke! Y’all never broke any laws in your life? Chill, pray for Bill and our country. Lot more bad in the industry than a cow elk being food for birds and coyotes. Forgive and forget. We as outdoorsman need to be positive and not fight amongst ourselves.

      • Joe Shock says:

        Think it’s more that he’s a repeat offender from my understanding. Yes that amount of fine’s is no joke, but from what is being said he got off pretty clean compared what you or I would of in fine’s and penalties based on what state it happen’s in. If anything, Bill has made a poor example more than once representing us outdoor’s people as a whole. Is that what you want to pray for? For more of us hunter’s to break the law and teach our youth that it’s okay to do that once in a while?? It’s not a matter of his families success, rather than what they represent as a whole to the outdoor industry and represent to us outdoor’s people as a whole. Your not in the public eye, so what law’s you’ve broken in the past isn’t going to make headline news nor affect us has hunter’s or our reputation.

  12. Brian Coons says:

    Unfortunately their are renegades in every area of life, no matter the organization or position, that will choose to selfishly disrespect and dishonor their profession, sport, agency, etc. Bill has shown to be one of those. Whether it’s inside congress, in small business, in the NRA, in PETA, there are those that don’t act in the best interest of others or the causes they are espousing to stand for. I think bowhunters, and hunters in general need to make sure their voice is heard- “this is not us” and we don’t condone it no matter how light the sentence. I think everyone should be given grace and forgiveness, but consequences come even if one is forgiven. Bill will have to show he’s changed his way of acting before I’ll buy or support his ventures or those that sponsor him for now.

  13. Randall Jenkins says:

    We as “sportsmen should absolutely boycott anything related to the wildgame nation trademark and notify outdoor channel of our disgust with this occurrence and demand they suspend their relationships with the bussbices.

  14. Bud Clark says:

    In the first place this ahole is NO STAR he is a damn poacher clear and simple. Should have gotten jail time just like John-Q-Public. You hit it on the head MONEY MONEY MONEY !!!!!!

  15. Charlie Kirkpatrick says:

    Wild game innovations makes a good product, I wasn’t a fan of Big Bill on this show or the last one. He gives the anti’s ammunition, in a sport that prides itself on ethics. I will continue to buy good products, the endorsers do not play a roll in that. Hunt hard, hunt often, hunt safe and hunt ethical.

    • What have you ever had from Wildgame Innovations that wasn’t JUNK? They made a cheap product and sold it at a premium price so wild Bill could pay his poaching fines.

  16. From what I’m reading here he should have got a much stiffer ruming, maybe even permanent hunting suspension. He is the reason there is such crazy laws for us no famous hunters ( little guy) so to speak. I’d like to see minimum 10 year suspension on his ass.

  17. T. Rotter says:

    Wow! I’ve already sworn off of wildgame innovation products, after 3 purchases and all have pretty much been junk! 2 game cams and the card viewer.. This is not how real Sportsman treat the animals they love to hunt. This ass hat needs to have his licences revoked for a minimum of 5 years. I hope all the true sportsmen out there boycott all products sold by these clowns as their leader is no more than a dumb ass poacher!

  18. Two words…Stealth Cam….

    Oh yeah….one more word… knucklehead…wait one more….dummy…. They should take his guns and bows and make him hunt with a fork.

  19. Absolutely Disappointed in you as a Adult and to let all the younger Hunters that use to look up to you and your Family as what we thought were hunters and buy your product your Customers down !!!!! some of us work so hard to respect and manage the very Creatures our Father provided for us to hunt and feed our Families and our Hearitage! You was blessed with a gift that most of us wish we good do for our living and you throwed it away like trash ! Our Father will give us and will take it away !! I know how I was raised if I do the crime I’ll do the time if I do something dumb !!! Not hide behind my money and rich lawyers but that’s diffearance from Rich TV Hunters and True Hard Working Hunters !!!!

  20. Make the fines a percentage of net worth so these rich criminals might start feeling the pain. They are stealing resources and opportunities from the rest of us and it shows a callous disregard for the animals.

  21. So a guy legally kills a bear bad ass style with a spear…everyone goes crazy. UA drops his wife and the province changes the law…this puke actaully breaks the law and notning….hunting ban for life…pull all his sponsors..no one wants this goof to represent hunters.

  22. Shit happens. I don’t think big bill deliberately shot the cow, but should have called DNR n reported it instead of trying to conceal the carcass. As far as punishment. I think it was very fair.

  23. Glad I’ve never purchased anything from his company. Oh wait I bought one trail cam from them and it’s crap! Never again especially after reading this.

  24. Bill Gindhart says:

    I’ve know of several “TV superstars” of hunting and fishing shows who have broken the law intentionally because it has become a money game, not an outdoors show on how to.
    Fines are not stiff enough.

  25. John Rashop says:

    A guy here in my hometown made some deer jerky and gave it to a friend. His friend took it to work and a co-worker tried it and liked it. He asked if he could buy some so the guy sold him some deer jerky which came out to about $60 total. Game Wardens fined him $10,000 and he lost his hunting rights for 5 years! This is a joke. I have no respect for this guy or others that do this!

  26. As if we hunters dont have enough problems with the media. Now, a TV host, pulls a stunt like this. All we need is for the anti- hunting groups jump on this for more hype.
    The good news is, for every jerk like this, there are many hunters who abide by the law.


  28. Dwayne Jones says:

    Wildgame trail cameras are CRAP so him doing CRAP like this seems about right! Hunters as a whole get enough flax from non hunters and anti-hunters. Why do something to give them more ammo? He should have been banned for 10 years!! I don’t buy their products anyway now even more reason to not do so.

    • Garry S says:

      Done with wild game innovations products this really set a bad example for the simple law abiding hunters. Fueling the fire for the anti hunters.

      • Thomas Harris says:

        Big Bill ain’t so big after all.
        I say do away with wild game innovations period.
        I like alot of hunters on TV, but if they have wild game innovations in their
        list of sponsors or products I lose interest real quick.
        Red Arrow is a awesome show, I sure hope Kip Campbell gets rid of them ASAP.

  29. Most Hunters know of Wild Game Nation and Wildlife Innovation’s Products. I just heard about this story this morning while at a Sport’s Shop and now read it here. Sport’s shop owner said he’s met Big Bill many of time’s at Sport Show’s and that he’s a very arrogate, even when talking to him. So maybe Big Bill is just an Asshole and need’s to change his personality and attitude??

  30. Big Bill the arrogant puke should get 10 years revocation and have his show dropped from the outdoor channel for giving real hunters another black eye.

  31. So does that mean we can treapass on his ranch and hunt whenever we want. He shouldn’t care its only a law

  32. Nick Webb says:

    Wow! This is just insane! I for one will look at all the companies that they own, and will make sure I do not support this company ever again! I hope that they loose all there sponsorships as well as there camo deal. The Bowmars( Sara Bowmar) got a far worse deal and everyting was legal with that hunt. Nothing was legal with busbice. I am really angyr and outraged now, the more I think about this…. I hope busbice looses everything…

  33. Well it just goes to show that if you have money you can do what ever you want. He gets a slap on his hand but the courts would have thrown me in jail and forgotten all about me because I’m not famous. I don’t support people that don’t follow the laws and fell they are above them. Will not buy anything from them again.

  34. Hunting isnt for sport, its for feeding you and your family in my book. Im confused when it comes to this fishing and having a license, WHY? if I catch a tuna, why do I need a license for it. I caught it and Im going to eat it, just like deer.

  35. Andy Cuttitta says:

    Yes it was wrong and illegal. Yes the fines and punishment should have been more impactful to Bill. I’m betting this will blow over just like it did with the Under Armour incident with the Bowmars although this is more directly related to hunting product and the hunting industry where UA is built more around sports apparel and casual wear. All the hunters on social media were up in arms screaming how wrong it was of UA to set that precedence, think anything changed after that with the success and revenue of UA because the hunters complaining stopped buying UA product and or stopped supporting UA?? This is just more banter and fodder for social media, nothing more. UA 2015 year end revenue was $3.9 billion, 2016 year end revenue was $4.8 billion and expected to be up 11 to 12% for 2017. The big question is what will Wildgame Innovations revenue look like a year from now. They own, are majority owners, or have their hands in so many big name company’s now it’s nuts, Ameristep, Avian X, Barnett Xbows, Flextone, Tenzing, Plano, Zinc, Halo Optics, Evolved, and the list goes on. Yeah their TV show may lose some sponsors for a year or 2 but I’m betting it will blow over.

    • Big Bill sold his shares of Synergy years ago to Plano and they kept him on only as a contractor to host the TV show and I’m sure do some other minor duties. Since this happened Outdoor Channel pulled the show, Plano Synergy released Bill from his contract and also cancelled the show indefinitely. It’s a shame that it’s a black mark on their reputation, but as of today he has nothing to do with them as a company and his show is off the air. Although with a new worth of over 100 million I’m sure he’ll be just fine.

  36. Bill will have his money and he will sooner or later get to hunt again. Actually, he can hunt now in the other 5 or 6 states. However, he has clearly lost respect with a lot of truly ethical hunter as is being seen here. I don’t know if he will be able to get much conversation at an outdoorsman or gun show any time soon. Respect from true hunters is LOST.

  37. Edward Medvec says:

    Does bill care what we think? He and his family have made there money. He will hunt daily on his large property in La. He wont film it is all. Everyone has a right to earn a living, but his is not the only family to commercialize the sport , the right, the tradition of hunting? Me and you would be in prison for a long time.

  38. See his son was on Buckmasters with Jackie Bushman last night, don’t know when that show was filmed though. Wonder what will happened with his sons other shows and reputation based off Bad Ass Big Bills “Hey, you shot my cow!” incident?

  39. Kent dorf says:

    lobby the outdoor channel AND all of the sponsors not only of the ODoor channel but those on this pricks show.
    tell them u will refuse to support their channel and products
    if the issue is money money money
    once the sponsors sales drop!

  40. The Busbice shows suck anyway, never have liked them and won’t watch them now either. We all know that money talks around this country and we al complain but how many are willing to change the things they buy and watch to punish this guy. I am, don’t just talk do it everybody!! Bad publicity talks with sponsors they don’t want to be connected with any of it. Send the outdoor channel an email and tell them you’ll never watch again if this idiot isn’t removed from it’s programming.

  41. Mark Moss says:

    Its all about the MONEY!

  42. Have never been impressed with him or his products. Will no longer buy any of his products and will do more research up front to ensure that I dont.

  43. vernon helms says:

    He’s screwed hunters for year with the junk products he sells and made millions off of those hunters . Now he blatantly defies the laws set in place to protect those animals he ruthlessly kills and just lets them go to waste , not to mention the ugly picture he paints of law abiding hunters to the rest of the non hunting public . He surely got off easier than he should have . I think all hunters should boycott him and his products ” which are junk anyway” I have no use for a scumbag like him !

  44. I’ll continue to buy their products because they are quality products at their price range. I know of many hunting that get excited and have made mistakes in judgement. I don’t think this give hunters anymore of bad name that the constant bitching of trophy only hunters and riding around with dead animals showing…….. People make mistakes and life goes on.

    • vernon helms says:

      Cory , it’s one thing to make a mistake and own up to it ,
      but he even tried to get the guides to help him hide the illegal elk in a ditch and cover it up . That my friend is more than just a mistake !

  45. He is stuck inside his 10k acre land living in a huge camphouse laughing it away. He’s not gonna stop hunting. He lives right in the middle of prime hunting land. Once again, money talks, and bullshit walks!


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