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Montana hunting violations

September 10, 2010

Outfitter pleads guilty to 9 offenses, loses privileges

Malta-based hunting outfitter Larry L. Olson, 60, has pleaded guilty to nine misdemeanor counts of baiting game animals with supplemental feeds and two misdemeanor counts of submitting false and inaccurate client logs.

In a plea agreement with the state of Montana entered in Phillips County Justice Court, Olson acknowledged that he aided and abetted illegal hunting-related activities committed by members of a Minnesota family that owns a ranch south of Malta. Olson also was found to have submitted false records to the Montana Board of Outfitters in 2007 and 2008.

The landowners were convicted earlier this year for illegally baiting big game animals, hunting without licenses and/or permits, improper outfitting and other wildlife-related crimes. Olson was the license sponsor for the operation.

Olson was ordered to surrender his outfitting license and forfeited any future right to work as an outfitter or guide in Montana. He was also given a three-year suspended sentence with the conditions that he forfeit ownership in property seized during the warrant searches; not accompany hunters in Montana during his suspended sentence; pay $1,985 in fines and lose his Montana hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for three years.

Poaching sentence

A Kremlin-area man has been sentenced in connection with the out-of-season killing of six antelope.

Cody J. Meltzian, 18, pleaded guilty on Aug. 23 in Hill County Justice Court to 12 misdemeanor criminal counts in connection with the poaching of six antelope north of Kremlin and Gildford.

Meltzian pleaded guilty to six counts of hunting during a closed season and six counts of wasting antelope meat. Justice of the Peace Terry Stoppa ordered Meltzian to pay $2,820 in fines and $1,800 in restitution.

In addition, Meltzian is required to serve 30 days in jail and will lose all hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges for five years in all 34 states involved in the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

3 antelope killed

Two California men have been sentenced for illegally killing three antelope in the Gildford area during the 2007 hunting season.

Mack Jones, 59, of Palm Springs, Calif., was charged with a misdemeanor count of killing an antelope buck without a license.

Jones was recently ordered by Hill County Justice of the Peace Terry Stoppa to pay a $535 fine and $500 in restitution. Jones also lost his hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges for two years in all 34 states involved in the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

Another Palm Springs man, Eric J. Urban, 47, was charged with killing an antelope buck without a license at the same private property south of Gildford during the 2007 season. Urban also was charged with a misdemeanor count of "accountability for the conduct of another" for allowing his teenage son to kill an additional antelope buck without having a valid license.

Court records show Urban paid a $1,070 fine and $1,000 in restitution and lost his hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges for two years in all wildlife compact states. All three antelope bucks were recovered in California and returned to Montana. "The apprehending of Jones and Urban was made possible when a concerned citizen contacted the local warden and expressed his concern that antelope bucks might have been killed and were likely tagged with Region 7 doe tags," said Lennie Buhmann, Fish, Wildlife and Parks criminal investigator.

"Without the help of concerned citizens, violations like these would often go undetected."

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