Major Poaching Bust In Montana

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
3,573
242
Gypsum, Co
I have come to the conclusion that if we or the states wanted to start putting a halt to this kind of activity they are going to have to start putting the offenders into jail for a few years. This might get the poachers or offenders to thinking about what they are doing.

As to being a resident or not it isn't up to us to decide what we are going to go by. All the western states have basically the same law on how to qualify as a resident. It is usually living in the state for a minimum amount of time before you are allowed to purchase a resident license. It doesn't say a thing about owning a home or property as the qualifier to be a resident. As they say, if you don't like the law work to get it changed.

There was a person a couple of years ago that did the same thing in Utah. He was a resident of Arizona and purchased a home in southern Utah and I believe he actually changed his drivers license to Utah as was required by law. He then drew a desert big horn sheep tag as a resident and promptly moved his residence back to Arizona. They nailed him pretty good from what I remember but again, there was no jail time.
 

AKaviator

Veteran member
Jul 26, 2012
1,409
67
Anchorage Alaska
Residency fraud is, in my opinion, a big problem. Every state I have been to treat their residents different than non-residents, as they should. Alaska treats non-citizens different than non-residents also. You see this in drawing tags, prices, guide requirements, etc. Our state constitution requires that Alaska residents receive priority. I agree with it. I would guess that Montana's constitution does also.

I live in Alaska but I've hunted in Oregon for the last 27 years straight, plus some years prior to that. I own a hobby farm there of about 140 acres. I hunt my property but always with a non-resident license. I pay Oregon taxes, but I'm not a resident and I'm okay with that. If I stayed in Oregon long enough to be legally considered a resident and bought a resident license, I would no longer be a Alaska resident legally.

My take on the Montana case is that the Judge in Montana completely failed the legal residents of Montana in his sentencing of the non-resident aliens (assuming they do not have legal dual citizenship). If they are claiming Ontario residency and Canadian citizenship, then they have no legal business claiming Montana residency. The Montana court agreed that they are not residents or the case would have gone no further in the court.

To give retro-active suspension of their licenses is almost unheard of. The fines totaling far less than the value to the resource is a slap in the face to all legal hunters in Montana that pay the money to do it right. I agree with Jim, they should be in jail!
 
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conibear

Active Member
Oct 15, 2017
283
23
Portland, OR
Nobody on this forum is going to believe that fine was enough. Wildlife crimes involving game animals (not endangered species) just aren't prosecuted seriously by our judicial systems. Fewer and fewer people hunt, and few prosecuting attorneys hunt, and its hard to monetize wildlife crimes like drug crimes are monetized.

Keep an eye out for Ontario plates gentlemen, they'll be back soon.
 
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RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
1,064
46
Two Harbors, Minnesota
Claiming residency in states where you don't legally reside (different standards in different states), has been abused for a long, long time. The primary motivation is generally to save on taxes. You may live in New York for 9 months out of the year, but claim Florida as your residence because you spend 3 months at your vacation home. You'll get nailed for tax fraud a lot more than for most game violations.
 
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conibear

Active Member
Oct 15, 2017
283
23
Portland, OR
Residency fraud is huge on the Oregon/WA border. Especially with vehicle registration.

Back to the Canadian poachers: they will be poaching again soon, they just can't resist the compulsion - it's like a drug to them.
 
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mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
1,709
86
I always look at situations like this and how people have been doing it for so long and think to myself:

For every one doing it that gets busted, there are 9 that are getting away with it.

They knew damn well what they were doing. They should have lost privileges to enter the country.

I will tell you this much, if you went to Canada and broke their laws like this you would never get into Canada again. EVER.
 
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Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
3,857
234
Ohio
I always look at situations like this and how people have been doing it for so long and think to myself:

For every one doing it that gets busted, there are 9 that are getting away with it.

They knew damn well what they were doing. They should have lost privileges to enter the country.

I will tell you this much, if you went to Canada and broke their laws like this you would never get into Canada again. EVER.
I agree! You’d prob serve a few years up there before they kicked you out indefinitely.
 

KHSRanger23

Member
Apr 14, 2016
67
10
Utah
It seems to me for a case like this were the poaching and residency fraud was sustained over a period of several years the fines and punishment were definitely on the light side. Reading some other articles on this case it seems the father and son in this case are fishing guides in Canada. They could have incurred some severe penalties which would have impacted there fishing business.

This reminded me of the Arizona guide a few years back who used residency fraud to draw a Utah Resident Deseret Bighorn tag. The fines were much more severe in that case and I have to wonder is it because there is more cooperation between the US states on these violations? Perhaps a case like this is were the US and other countries need to make a similar law or agreement to have stronger punishments for international violations?

 
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