MT poachers

mtmiller

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Four Individuals Charged With Unlawfully Killing Eight Buck Deer in Hill County

Four individuals were charged in Hill County Justice Court for violations that resulted in the killing of eight buck deer in Hill County in Sept. and Oct. of this year.

Elisha Rulison, 21, of Plains, and Tyler Adams, 20, of Havre, plead guilty to multiple counts of unlawful possession of a game animal, unlawful hunting from a public road, hunting during a closed season, unlawful use of artificial light while hunting, and a single count of killing an over limit of a game animal.

Janelle Baird, 20, of Zurich, and James Rulison, 20, of Plains, plead guilty to unlawful possession of a game animal, hunting during a closed season, unlawful hunting from a public road, and unlawful use of artificial light while hunting.

Based on several reports of suspicious activity in southern Hill County, wardens conducted a nearly month-long investigation which involved a tremendous amount of field work and information gathering. It was discovered that several people were involved and that multiple violations had occurred. On Oct. 20, 2015 Warden Sergeant Shane Reno, Criminal Investigator Dirk Paulsen, and Warden Andy Matakis interviewed the individuals connected with this poaching incident.

“This was not an instance where a single deer was killed by a person who made a minor mistake. This was a group of people who killed eight large bucks, some of them trophies, over the course of 23 days. This took a great deal of harvest opportunity away from the sportsmen of Montana,” Matakis said. “All of these deer were killed with a rifle prior to the general season, with the use of artificial light, and most of them were shot from a county road.”

Elisha Rulison was ordered by the Hill County Justice of the Peace to pay $1,157 in fines and $2,120 in restitution for the four deer he killed. Tyler Adams was ordered to pay $877 in fines and $1120 in restitution for the two deer he killed. Both men lost privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for life in Montana, as well as all 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. They were also sentenced to serve jail time in the Hill County Detention Center.

Janelle Baird was ordered to pay $490 in fines and $500 in restitution for the one deer she killed and, with her involvement with other deer taken in the case, lost her privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for life in Montana and all 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

James Rulison was ordered to pay $305 in fines and $500 in restitution for the one deer he killed. He lost his privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for 11 years in Montana, as well as all 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
 

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JEL

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Good deal. Thanks to the wardens and others who helped catch theses criminals.
 

LopeHunter

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The fines were light in my opinion. What is the value of a tag to hunt for a deer in that unit? What would you pay to be able to hunt that tag next year and to have a bag limit of 2 bucks? At auction, would that go for under $2500? To sweeten the pot, you will have your own private season so have the unit to yourself. Is that worth $5000? $10,000? Whatever that value is then multiply by 3 or 10 to arrive at the fine amount.

Glad they lost hunting privileges. Were any of the charges a felony? That has teeth as well as they consider career options.
 

JCS

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Glad they were caught. But banning for life will not stop anyone. These people didn't follow the law anyways. That said, I would not know what a proper punishment would be.
 

BuzzH

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What happened to imposing the "trophy" fines....looks like a bunch of those animals qualify.

Got off light IMO.
 

el unit

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Glad they lost hunting privileges, but the fines still should've been greater. Sad that all those beauties were killed by poachers Instead of hunted by law-abiding, ethical hunters.
 

fulldraw

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I also feel the fines were way to light. I would like to see the loss of lifetime hunting privileges imposed on more of those poachers.
 

Hunting Wife

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Fines still seem too light, but loss of hunting privileges for life and jail time are a start. Better than the penalties that are usually levied I suppose. But look what it takes to achieve that - at least 3 LEO's (and probably more) over how many weeks to make this one case. They have their work cut out for them, for sure.
 

MT_elk

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I agree. The fines seem light, but I am glad to see the lose of hunting privileges for life (in MT and the other 48 states). That should hurt and hopefully begin to detour other's from thinking about poaching.
 

noharleyyet

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I doubt they ever valued hunting as a privilege...higher fines and serious jail time is a better deterrent.
 

schmalts

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What's pathetic is that the fines were less than my nonresident deer/elk combo.
 
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