Authorities have discovered a case of poaching so scandalous, the judge has ordered the culprits to watch Bambi on repeat in addition to their usual sentence.
Three members of a southwest Missouri family have been caught in a gross case of poaching that has spanned many years and has claimed the lives of hundreds of deer. The scope of the carnage is so horrific, local conservationists are labelling it as one of Missouri’s largest cases of illegal poaching ever.
“The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste,” said Don Trotter, Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney.
The case involves Kyle Berry, David Berry Sr. and David Berry Jr. The trio has a long previous history of illegal activity and has collectively has served 33 days in jail already. To date they have paid some $US 151,000 ($A210,000) in bonds and another $51,000 ($A70,000) in fines and court costs.
They also have been previously convicted for taking gamefish by hand and spotlighting.
The Missouri Conservation Commission revoked for life hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for David Berry Sr. and David Berry Jr, and Kyle Berry had his hunting and fishing privileges revoked for 8 years.
Randy Doman, MDC Protection Division Chief said about the shocking case,
“In situations like this, with serial poachers who have no regard for the animals, rules of fair chase, or aren’t bothered by the fact that they’re stealing from others, it’s all about greed and ego,”
“Taking just the heads is their version of obtaining a ‘trophy’ and leaving the carcass behind is merely an afterthought. While there are some cases where poachers go after the antlers for profit, with this bunch it was more about the thrill of the kill itself.”
David Barry Jr. received a one-year jail sentence in Lawrence County Associate Court after pleading guilty to taking wildlife illegally and another 120-day sentence in Barton County Circuit Court for a felony firearms probation violation.
But for Lawrence County Judge Robert George, that sentence wasn’t enough, so he decided to add a little extra.
According to the court records, Barry was ordered to “to view the Walt Disney movie Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter, during Defendants incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail.”
The Barry’s were captured thanks to information obtained from “Operation Game Thief”, a hotline sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri.