Two Jefferson County men have been sentenced a total of $9,270 in fines for trespassing and poaching elk on a private ranch on the Rocky Mountain Front in October.
Matthew W. Burgan, 52, of Boulder, was fined $135 for trespassing and $8,000 in restitution for illegally shooting a trophy bull elk, according to a news release. The elk had six points on each antler with each main beam measuring 48 inches long and the inside spread of the antlers measuring 45 inches.
State law considers a bull elk a trophy if it meets three criteria: at least six points on each antler, a main beam length of each antler of at least 43 inches and an inside spread of at least 36 inches.
Mark E. Niemeir, 46, of Basin, was fined $135 for trespassing and $1,000 in restitution for illegally shooting a bulk elk with six points on one antler and four on the other, the news release said.
Both men lost hunting privileges for two years.
An employee of the Diamond 4D Ranch discovered the kill site several days after the animals had been poached and contacted Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Rod Duty.
Duty and another U.S. Forest Service employee located Niemeir and Burgan at their camp west of the ranch on Forest Service land.
Niemeir and Burgan were sentenced by Teton County Justice of the Peace Pete Howard.
The elk antlers will be auctioned at Fish, Wildlife and Park’s statewide trophy auction later in the year. The elk meat was donated to the Helena Food Bank.