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Columbia Falls man admits to elk poaching

by Daily Inter Lake
| September 23, 2021 1:00 PM

A Flathead Valley man has been prosecuted in an elk poaching case in north-central Montana.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks information, Lucas Sterling, 42, of Columbia Falls, pleaded guilty to charges of hunting without a license and unlawful possession of a bull elk.

Sterling reportedly killed the elk during the 2020 archery season in the Bear Paw Mountains in Blaine County. Sterling was hunting without the required special permit for the hunting district.

He was ordered to pay $460 in fines, $1,000 in restitution, and lost his privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for two years in Montana along with the other member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

In a separate case, Tyrus Brockie, 22, of Harlem, pleaded guilty to charges of hunting without a license, waste of a game animal, and hunting without landowner permission in November 2020 for shooting and mortally wounding a bull moose west of Malta.

“This was a case of someone carelessly shooting an animal with limited harvest opportunity in the region and just left it to waste,” said Malta-area warden Chase Sanderson.

Brockie was ordered to pay $1,040 in fines, $1000 in restitution, and lost his privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for two years in Montana along with the other member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

In both investigations, the meat from the unlawfully killed animals was donated in the local communities.

Anyone with information about crimes involving fish, wildlife or park regulations is encouraged to call FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.