NewsCrime and Courts


FWP investigating after 4 trophy mule deer bucks were killed illegally

The poachers removed the head from one deer and left all four to waste
Poached mule deer buck near Hardin
Posted at 4:07 PM, Nov 06, 2019

GREAT FALLS — Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is offering a reward for information about four trophy mule deer bucks that were killed illegally and left to waste north of Hardin on October 24.

The four deer were found on private property near the Sarpy Creek Mine in Big Horn County, according to a news release from FWP. Game wardens believe the suspects were driving a silver or gray Ford Excursion SUV from the early to mid-2000s.

The poachers removed the head from one deer and left all four to waste. The crimes happened two days before the general rifle season opened.

Anyone who reports information that leads to a conviction in the case is eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 by calling FWP’s anonymous 24-hour crime-reporting line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668). Callers may remain anonymous.

FWP says that wildlife crimes like this one are often solved because of leads provided by the public.

The FWP website provides the following information about poaching:

Poaching is the illegal killing of fish or wildlife. It can include illegal killing of fish or wildlife:

  • for commercial trade
  • for ego gratification
  • in closed areas, during closed times, or taking more than the law allows


  • reduce recreational opportunities for law abiding anglers, hunters, wildlife watchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts
  • kill and waste Montana game animals, threatened and endangered species, and even nongame animals
  • target Montana’s fish and wildlife resource for personal profit
  • Poaching robs law abiding hunters of game and fish, businesses and taxpayers of revenues generated by hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing recreation, and it denies many other Montanans the ability to enjoy seeing healthy, mature fish and wildlife populations.