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Montana Man Pays Self-Imposed Penalty on Does Poached 40 Years Ago

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April 03, 2013

Montana Man Pays Self-Imposed Penalty on Does Poached 40 Years Ago

By Scott Bestul

When a poacher apologizes, it’s usually before a judge who is about to throw the book at him. But a Montana man who illegally shot three whitetail does more than 40 seasons ago not only turned himself in, he forked over a fine no one asked him to pay. According this story by Rich Landers, the man contacted the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department recently and confessed to shooting the deer during the 1969 and 1970 hunting seasons.

Capt. Richard Mann, with the enforcement division of WFWD, informed the Montana man—whom Mann refers to only as “Roy”—that the statute of limitations for the offense had run out years ago, and encouraged him to consider volunteer service to the department if his conscience still bothered him. Distance made volunteering problematic, so Roy wrote the WDFW a $6,000 check instead. The maximum penalty for poaching antlerless deer in Washington right now is close to $2,000 per animal.

Roy asked that the money be used specifically for WDFW enforcement activities, and wrote in a letter: “My conscience has not allowed me to put this sin to rest until now. I know God has forgiven me and I hope that WDFW will as well.”

Even the most naïve student of human nature knows that good people can sometimes do bad things. But very few of them are willing to take responsibility for actions that occurred so long ago they nearly qualify as ancient history. Roy reminds us that there is no statute of limitations on your conscience, and that it is rarely too late to right a wrong.

Comments (7)

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from BAM wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Pure awesomeness!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Just to clarify, the offense allegedly took place in Washington but the man now lives in Montana. I had a hard time understanding how anyone in 1969 and 1970 could have illegally poached three whitetail does in Montana since it would have been entirely legal anywhere in the state at that time to shoot at least two does of any species during those two years and possibly as many as four depending on the district.

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from Safado wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Diogenes can end his search for the honest man!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

One evening I received a call from a hunter in Pa. that said he had been in WV the week before and killed a wild turkey. When he got back home he was reading the WV Hunting Regulations and found out the WV turkey season wasn't in last week when he killed the turkey. He wanted to know what he could do to "make it right" and clear his conscience. I took all of his information over the telephone and sent him a citation and he mailed the fine and costs to our magistrate here in WV. He thanked me for the citation and getting things right. I wanted to meet the hunter but never did get to meet him on any of his return trips.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from laker wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

9th Step.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 1 week ago

An all too rare thing these days, a man who takes responsibility for his actions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rick Stokes wrote 1 year 1 week ago

I wonder why he waited 40 years before coming to terms with this...

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from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

One evening I received a call from a hunter in Pa. that said he had been in WV the week before and killed a wild turkey. When he got back home he was reading the WV Hunting Regulations and found out the WV turkey season wasn't in last week when he killed the turkey. He wanted to know what he could do to "make it right" and clear his conscience. I took all of his information over the telephone and sent him a citation and he mailed the fine and costs to our magistrate here in WV. He thanked me for the citation and getting things right. I wanted to meet the hunter but never did get to meet him on any of his return trips.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Safado wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Diogenes can end his search for the honest man!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from BAM wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Pure awesomeness!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from laker wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

9th Step.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Just to clarify, the offense allegedly took place in Washington but the man now lives in Montana. I had a hard time understanding how anyone in 1969 and 1970 could have illegally poached three whitetail does in Montana since it would have been entirely legal anywhere in the state at that time to shoot at least two does of any species during those two years and possibly as many as four depending on the district.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 1 week ago

An all too rare thing these days, a man who takes responsibility for his actions.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rick Stokes wrote 1 year 1 week ago

I wonder why he waited 40 years before coming to terms with this...

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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