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Another Montana Elk Poacher!

Yet another elk poaching case has come to light in Montana, this one taking place in Ravalli and Missoula counties. Both cases date back to 2017 and deal with Brady Joe Stamps killing elk illegally on private lands he did not have permission to be on, the second bull being shot after he had already filled his tag during the 2017 archery season and being left to rot because he knew it was on private land.

Now the real story behind this case isn’t the fact that Stamps poached two bull elk, trespassed, wasted a valuable public resource or that he has been found guilty of wildlife infractions in the State of Alaska where he lost his hunting rights for a year. The story isn’t that this joker is a repeat offender or that the State of Montana has chosen to charge him with one felony for illegal possession of a game animal and several misdemeanor counts for his additional nefarious activities. Nope, the real story is the work of FWP warden Justin Singleterry to build a case against Stamps.

Let’s face it, poachers will poach. There may be no punishment that society is willing to enforce that will deter poachers with any measurable efficacy. However, what we can do is to empower our game and fish agencies with the best possible information and tools to do their jobs to catch poachers before they strike again!

Warden Singleterry strung together an impressive array of evidence from cigarette butts and orange cloth to a recovered bullet and video surveillance. However, what got him started down his evidence gathering path was the anonymous tip from hunters who witnessed the poaching of the elk and who were also able to provide key descriptions of both the man who turned out to be Stamps and the pickup he was driving. It was this tip and subsequent information that led Singleterry’s investigation. Without the report these hunters filed there may never have been an investigation and who knows how many more animals Stamps would have poached before being brought to justice.

The point is this… we as hunters have a responsibility to do the right thing in and out of the field. Policing our ranks by reporting infractions isn’t snitching, you’re not a rat, it’s simply the right thing to do. There is a fallacy in law enforcement that the authorities know more than they actually do. The fact is that a great many poaching cases would go unknown and do go unknown to game and fish agencies because they aren’t reported.

So, my challenge to all of us… report suspicious activities. They may turn out to be nothing but they may just be the tipping point in a case that takes down a poacher.

About Todd Helms

Todd Helms

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17 comments

  1. Get a rope.

    • They need to make a example out of guys like him.

    • What I tell people, Remember Judges and Prosecutors are elected. As a prior Game Warden. I would get people in one county that would get a slap on the hand. Get the same thing in the next county over, They would loose ATV;s guns, jail time Ect. One County it was the same judge, But different prosecutor. Remember these folks when it is election time. I would have other outdoorsman highly upset over some cases, I would encourage people to contact the Judges and Prosecutor’s office. That would help too.

      • Well said sir! Loosing gear ………including their truck and weapons are KEY deterrents to potential new poachers. Elected officials definitely “pick and choose” on how to handle a issue.

  2. Until the authorities impose “real” penalties this will continue to be a problem. Take away their freedom and impact with huge financial penalties…

    Jack S.
    Montana Resident

  3. But when you do turn them in like did they don’t get punished enough. You still see them being able to make living on the animals they poach. I think any outfitter that does illegal things should not be able to outfit or hunt again. Of course I’m talking about an outfitter out of Musselshell county near Roundup Mt. It’s to bad there isn’t anything else we could do to make the poaching stop

  4. Our judicial system needs to start lowering the hammer in these folks and not a slap on the wrist! Take their guns, vehicles, their privileges to hunt in all states, fine the crap out of them, lock them up and throw away the key!

  5. Our judicial system is a joke! Don’t matter if it’s poaching or selling drugs. Somehow criminals get off light. It’s been long past time to make bad people fear consiquences again ! Other countries don’t put up with criminals. Why does this one help them . We need to bring back public hanging.

  6. I agree with Jeff the judicial system is a joke. There are no consequences for these type of individuals. In Washington a lot of our county judges want even try a wildlife infraction..we have had 2 poachers that it took our enforcement officer over 3 years to arrest them with each involving in excess of 100 violations..each were separate cases and small fines in each case. Shoot a predator wolf or cougars and they will hang you..cut off there hands, and it might be a little more difficult to draw a bow or fire a rifle.

  7. Kudos to the hunters that provided Warden Singleterry with the information he needed to link this guy with the evidence he collected and helped get a conviction. As stated in the article, ethical hunters need to help our law enforcement when ever we can to get these poachers out of the woods. Fines are one deterrent, if the poacher can actually pay it. I say send these guys to jail and they work off their debt to society by working on an inmate crew. Make them break rocks, dig ditches, and brush roads with hand tools – maybe a little hard labor while serving time would make them think twice?

  8. The 3 S’s should apply to poachers, too.

  9. I have the rope

  10. Any 2nd conviction of poaching should include the removal of trigger fingers………get caught again………the hands………

  11. Sad to read this crap. We have lots of poaching here in California – for example bears getting killed for their gall bladders (Asian “medicine”) and abalone being poached to be sold commercially. Our dumb-ass state legislators have starved the Department of Fish & Game (while spending plenty on some really stupid stuff…) so we simply do not have enough wardens in the field to catch these stinking thieves.

  12. Randolph Holford

    CONGRATULATIONS ON GREAT WORK BY THE WARDEN AND A HUGE THANK-YOU TO THE FOLKS WHO GAVE THE ORIGINAL TIP. HUNTERS ARE AND MUST CONTINUE TO BE A LINE OF DEFENSE AGAINST POACHING. IF YOU KNOW OF A VIOLATION YOU MUST MAKE THE CALL

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