Two men who broke numerous hunting laws were convicted of a combined five felonies and 54 misdemeanor charges after an extensive investigation in Montana.
A call on the state’s tip line detailed the unlawful hunting activity and prompted the investigation which led to charges against Michael J. Dess, 20, of Havre and Lane T. Allen, 22, of Harlem for unlawful take of deer and elk out of season in 2021 and 2022.
The charges involved the take or attempt to take nine antlered deer and four bull elk, some of which qualify for trophy restitution, a press release from the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks stated.
Charges included violations of hunting during a closed season, hunting without a license, waste of game, over limits, the use of artificial light and the unlawful possession of game animals.
This month, both entered into plea agreements on separate felony and misdemeanor cases for unlawfully killing elk and deer from roadways after dark with use of artificial light.
Dess was originally charged with 13 misdemeanors and one felony in Blaine County and 22 misdemeanors and two felonies in Hill County. The plea agreement resulted in fines and restitution totaling $16,010, and loss of hunting privileges for 10 years.
Allen was originally charged with 10 misdemeanors and two felonies in Blaine County and nine misdemeanors in Hill County. His plea resulted in fines and restitution totaling $8,210, and the loss of hunting privileges for 10 years.
“Region 6 game wardens would like to thank hunters and landowners for their assistance in helping solve this case,” the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks stated. “A special thank you goes to Blaine County Attorney Kelsie Harwood for prosecuting both cases.”
Game wardens involved in the investigation (from left) are Sergeant Andy Matakis, Captain Shane Reno, Criminal Investigator Dirk Paulsen, Warden Haden Hussey, Warden Ben Morin and Warden Brady Murphy. Photo courtesy of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.