If you are familiar with this blog you know that we report on poaching incidents with regularity. Sometimes we are lucky enough to see a case head to court and that is what appears to be happening in a poaching case in the Roundup, Montana area. Earl Russel Benes faces 24 criminal counts, of which eight will be felonies. We reported this earlier this fall and it feels good to know that the resolution to this case seems to be on it’s way.
However, there are still plenty of others to report on. Like a bull moose that was shot and left to waste in the Highland Mountains south of Butte, Montana. This one is particularly sad because of the scarcity of moose tags across the West. Many hunters have been building points and strategies to hunt the Shiras subspecies of moose for years and when an incident like this happens it robs hunters of opportunities.
There was also the incident of poached spike bull elk on Montana State University’s Red Bluff Ranch, this incident may simply be a case of someone not identifying their target and shooting a spike where it is illegal to do so. When these types of incidents are actually reported by the hunters admitting fault the meat can often be salvaged and donated. When a fear of consequences strikes though, the meat is more often than not wasted.
In the same article detailing the spike elk poaching two more poaching incidents are detailed involving white tailed deer that were likely shot at night. Willful incidents like this are the ones that are very hard to swallow for me as a hunter. If you know anything about this incident let the authorities in Montana know.
Below are several more incidents that are worth reporting as well. Let’s do our best to make sure that next we have as few poaching cases as possible!