Below is a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. For 2024-2025, Fiocchi partnered with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to increase the visibility of poaching incidents in an effort to reduce poaching.
During the fall of 2022, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wardens received a 1-800-TIP-MONT call detailing unlawful hunting activity in the Bear Paw Mountains. After an extensive investigation, Michael J. Dess (20), of Havre, and Lane T. Allen (22), of Harlem, had charges filed in Blaine and Hill Counties alleging their involvement in the 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. 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.
Dess was charged with 13 misdemeanors and one felony in Blaine County, and 22 misdemeanors and two felonies in Hill County.
Allen was charged with 10 misdemeanors and two felonies in Blaine County and nine misdemeanors in Hill County.
In January 2024, Dess and Allen entered into plea agreements on separate felony and misdemeanor cases for unlawfully killing elk and deer from roadways, after dark, with the use of artificial light.
Dess’s plea agreements in Hill and Blaine Counties resulted in fines and restitution totaling $16,010, and the loss of his privilege to hunt, fish, and trap in the state of Montana and all other states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, for a period of 10 years.
Allen’s plea agreements in Hill and Blaine Counties resulted in fines and restitution totaling $8,210, and the loss of his privilege to hunt, fish, and trap in the state of Montana and all other states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, for a period of 10 years.
Region 6 game wardens would like to thank hunters and landowners for their assistance in helping solve this case. A special thank you goes to Blaine County Attorney Kelsie Harwood for prosecuting both cases.
Anyone with information about crimes involving fish, wildlife or park regulations are encouraged to visit https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/enforcement/tip-mont to provide details, call the FWP violation reporting hotline at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668), or get in touch with their local warden. People providing information may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
(Photo credit: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)