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Helena man sentenced for poaching trophy moose

FWP wardens Justin Hawkaluk and Josh Leonard, along with investigator Ben Womelsdorf, hold the skull of the moose that was killed illegally in 2019
Posted at 1:57 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 15:57:50-05

TOWNSEND - Shiloh Berry of Helena received a lifetime ban from hunting and trapping in Montana as part of his sentence for illegally killing a trophy moose east of Townsend in 2019.

A news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks states Berry was sentenced Friday in Broadwater County District Court after pleading guilty last fall to unlawful possession of a game animal, hunting without a valid license, and waste of a game animal.

In November 2019, FWP game wardens received a tip through the department’s 1-800-TIP-MONT hotline about a dead moose with its head cut off and the meat abandoned.

Wardens responded and found the carcass on Blacktail Road, about 17 miles east of Townsend. Wardens also found distinctive tire tracks and boot prints at the scene.

In April 2020, wardens received a tip that Berry had moose antlers that he claimed to have found in the same area where the moose carcass was discovered.

Wardens executed a search warrant and discovered the antlers, as well as boots and tires that matched the tracks at the kill site.

During an interview with wardens, Berry confessed to killing the moose.

FWP said the moose’s antlers were 56 inches wide, with a Boone & Crockett gross score of 167 and a net score of 145.

In addition to the lifetime ban from hunting and trapping, Berry’s sentence includes a three-year suspension of fishing privileges, $12,100 in fines and restitution, and a suspended five-year imprisonment term.

Montana game wardens rely on tips from people who see crimes against wildlife. FWP’s 24-hour hotline for reporting these crimes is 1-800-TIP-MONT. Callers could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.