By Kathleen A. Schultz
Tribune Staff Writer
30 March 2004
A boastful Cut Bank poacher, whose hunting, fishing and
trapping privileges already have been suspended for life, now faces a felony
charge in District Court, as well as a raft of misdemeanors.
Gary Roger Motarie, 40, is charged with possession of
unlawfully taken wildlife, a felony, and 16 misdemeanors: five counts of
hunting without a license, five of improperly transferring a license and
five of hunting while revoked, and one count of possession of an unlawfully
taken black bear.
The felony carries up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000
fine. Having no licenses, improper transfer and illegal possession of a
black bear are punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of $50 to
$1,000, restitution and the loss of all hunting, fishing and trapping
privileges. Hunting while your license is revoked carries five days to six
months in jail and a $500 to $2,000 fine.
Motarie will be arraigned in District Court.
According to the charging affidavit, state Fish, Wildlife
and Parks Warden Brian Golie spotted Motarie and Brett McMurphey, 35, 1636
Valeria Way, fishing the Missouri near Cascade with four poles apiece on
Only one pole each is legal in that area.
McMurphey, who will be tried April 26 in Justice Court for
the pole violation and for possessing brown trout under 22 inches, told the
warden that Motarie admitted using his girlfriend's license to shoot the
bear, an elk and three deer during the 2003 hunting season.
A search of Motarie's Cut Bank home turned up meat from
the animals in his freezer.
At the time of this alleged incident, Motarie's game
privileges already had been suspended for 20 years for game violations in
Lewis and Clark County, where he had illegally shot a trophy elk -- then had
his hometown newspaper, the Western Breeze, run a photo of him with the
He was turned in by local residents who suspected he
didn't kill it where he claimed and called the FWP hotline.
Investigators proved Motarie killed the big bull the
weekend of Nov. 9-10 in the Sun River Wildlife Management Area, nine miles
northwest of Augusta. Only cow elk or deer can be taken legally there.
He pleaded guilty in April to hunting during a closed
season and illegal possession of a bull elk.
In addition to his loss of privileges, Motarie was fined
more than $8,000 for poaching a trophy animal.
He also is serving two six-year suspended sentences,
levied in January in Glacier County, for intimidating and tampering with a
witness in that case.
A standard condition of the concurrent sentences was that
he not break any laws, so he now faces revocation of the suspension, and
therefore more possible prison time.
Motarie pleaded guilty March 1 in Justice Court to fishing
while his privileges were suspended, fishing with four poles and possession
of unlawfully taken trout.
Noting that Motarie "shows no regard for the serious
violations he has previously committed or the sentences imposed, and clearly
intends to disregard the suspension of his privileges," Justice of the
Peace Sam Harris took away his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for
sent him to jail for 10 days and levied fines and court surcharges in excess
Given the amount of poached game found in his freezer, the
Cascade County Attorney's Office then filed the felony and misdemeanor
Schultz can be reached at
(406) 791-1474 or (800) 438-6600.
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Originally published Tuesday, March 30, 2004