A Shepherd man has been accused of 18 misdemeanors this week related to three incidents of alleged deer poaching at the Ah-Nei Recreation Area northeast of Billings in early October, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Brayden Reed, 18, faces three counts of hunting without a license, three counts of hunting during a closed season, three counts of unlawful use of artificial light, three counts of waste of game, three counts of unlawful possession of game, two counts of killing over a bag limit and one count of hunting on private property without landowner permission.
Reed is accused of spotlighting and shooting two mule deer bucks on Oct. 2 and taking them to the Ah-Nei Recreation, where he removed antlers and backstraps, then left the rest of the animals to waste.
Also that evening, a live tree was cut down and burned and numerous beverage cans were scattered in the recreation area. Damage to the recreation area was investigated by Bureau of Land Management ranger Jeff Herriford, who issued additional federal citations to Reed.
He also is accused of spotlighting and shooting a third deer on private property, where he did not have permission to trespass on Oct. 8 and taking it to the Ah-Nei Recreation area, where the backstraps were removed and the rest was left to waste, according to FWP.
Reed did not have a Montana deer license at the time of the poaching incidents, which occurred before the general deer season opened on Oct. 23.
Anyone with information about fish, wildlife, parks and other natural resource-related crimes is encouraged to call 1-800-TIPMONT. Callers may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.
Game warden Connor Langel led the investigation and issued citations to Reed. The investigation started with tips to the hotline.