Oh, Montana hunters, where do we even begin?

Unlawful possession of deer. Wasting game. Hunting during closed seasons. Unlawful use of equipment. Hunting without licenses. Exceeding harvest limits.

Oh, yes, you can throw in cutting down a live tree and burning it, too.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that, thanks to a diligent game warden and a tip called in to 1-800-TIP-MONT, Brayden Reed of Shepherd, Montana, will be paying hefty fines and forfeiting hunting privileges for multiple years, after pleading guilty to the aforementioned charges of blatant disrespect for Montana hunting laws, and frankly, overall disgusting disregard for hunting ethics.

For 16 charges in all, Montana FWP says Mr. Reed was fined $4,405 and ordered to pay the state $2,000 in restitution. He has also lost his privilege to hunt, not only in Montana for 16 years, but most of the country, thanks to the reciprocal agreements in which all but one or two U.S. states participate.

A few more details about some of the charges include spotlighting and shooting two mule deer bucks. He removed antlers and backstraps, then left the rest of the animals to waste. Reed also was found guilty of spotlighting and shooting a third deer, while trespassing on private property. Again, backstraps were removed and the rest was left to waste.

Does this seem like the kind of guy who would even likely be a legally licensed hunter? No, of course not. He did not have a Montana deer license during the poaching incidents, which occurred just before the start of Montana's general big game season last October.

Well done, Warden Connor Langel, who worked the case. And same to the conscientious caller whose anonymous tip aided in the investigation.

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