Big Sky Roundup

FWP: Two Montana men plead guilty to bull elk poaching

By: - September 19, 2022 10:07 am

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay | Public domain).

BILLINGS – A Missoula man and a Ballantine man were recently sentenced on separate felony cases for illegally killing trophy elk, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The news release from FWP said the following:

Alex St. Marie, 37, from Missoula, was sentenced in Fergus County District Court after pleading guilty to a felony for poaching two bull elk and multiple misdemeanors in October 2021.

St. Marie admitted to shooting two bull elk on private property, along Snowy Mountain Road in the Little Snowy Mountains, without permission and the necessary permit to harvest a brow-tined elk, FWP said. St. Marie shot two bulls from the public roadway. He then proceeded to drive off-road onto private property to retrieve the elk. Later, St. Marie discarded the elk, keeping the heads, resulting in the wasting meat charge.

St. Marie’s sentence includes a five-year suspension of hunting, trapping and fishing privileges, and $2,000 in fines and restitution.

In a separate case, Allen John Cantu, 47, from Ballantine, was sentenced in Yellowstone County District Court after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a trophy big game animal and tampering with evidence, both felonies, FWP said.

Cantu shot a bull elk in the Little Snowy Mountains in November 2019.

Cantu’s sentence includes a five-year suspension of hunting, trapping and fishing privileges, and $10,000 in fines and restitution.

Montana game wardens rely on tips from people who observe crimes against wildlife. Anyone with possible information about poaching is encouraged to visit https://myfwp.mt.gov/fwpPub/tipmont to provide details or call the FWP violation reporting hot line at 1-800-TIP-MONT. You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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