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MT: Hunter sentenced for poaching moose

Eli Baker of Choteau sentenced for poaching moose

Jun. 3, 2011 |

A Choteau man recently was sentenced for poaching a bull moose in November 2009 along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Eli Baker, 22, was fined $6,140, ordered to pay restitution of $1,000, told to retake a hunter education course, sentenced to two years in jail and had his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges taken away for 15 years.

If Baker completes 250 hours of community service, he will not have to pay the fine or spend time in jail, according to Teton County Justice of the Peace Pete Howard. But he will still have to pay the restitution, take a hunter education course, and have his privileges revoked for 15 years.

Baker admitted that on Nov. 11, 2009, while intoxicated he shot and left a bull moose with antlers 30-inches wide alongside the Teton River Road half a mile downstream of Elko campground on the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

The case started with a tip almost immediately, but took two and a half years to solve.

“Baker was our prime suspect all along,” says Rod Duty, Fish, Wildlife & Parks game warden, “but we had to gather evidence and interview him three times before he admitted to it.”

Besides interviewing others, Duty was able to match Baker’s rifle with brass cartridge casings found at the scene.

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