In short, a nine month suspension, and not harsher due to juvenile status. Issue was not so much shooting the rabbit as it was reckless handling and discharge of a firearm.
Sounds appropriate to me.
As for letting this thread die, word needs to get out that breaches of safety are not going to be tolerated. This should serve as a clear warning. (Edit: the person who suggested letting this thread die deleted his post, making mine look like it's out of context.)
There was a death as a result of unsafe firearms handling here in New Zealand recently. A hunting forum which I sometimes frequent went so far as to make a press statement condemning the actions of the person responsible. Some might see this action as chitting on other firearms owners, others see it as sending the message that such reckless firearms usage is not tolerated. Neither side of the coin will ever understand the others' viewpoint...me personally, I supported the condemnation. Kind Regards-Graham.
It doesn't matter if or how WE saw it. It's how the State of IL and their laws/rules saw it. He F'd up on State ground at the largest Trap Shoot on Earth and it IS public information as is most crimes. The State of IL can ban him from posessing a firearm in the State of IL forever if they see fit. Rules are Rules and Laws are Laws. The kid evidently did not take his position too serioursly or he would not have put himself in that situation in the first place. He got off with the punishment the State and the ATA felt fit the crime.
As a matter of fact, i have broken laws and been caught and was dealt my punishment. It was published in several newspapers and was an embarassing lapse of judgement for me and my family. I learned from my stupidity and believe i am better for it. Obviously some have never learned such an important life lesson. Hopefully the "rabbit shooter" will. You can downplay the CRIME he commited all you want but it is still against the law. I've since realized that i do not have to cheat to win. Sounds as if some don't see it that way. "Holier than thou"?? No, just smarter now.
BILLINGS, Mont. - Six Florida residents, including the president and chief operating officer of The Villages, have been indicted on felony poaching charges in Montana.
Some of those charged Thursday own ranches in Montana. All have been charged with 18 wildlife violations, including felony crimes, committed during the past four years in Yellowstone and Big Horn counties in Montana.
In a press release the Montana Attorney General named the defendants as Mark Gary Morse and his wife, MLissa Marie Morse, of The Villages.; their daughter, Kelsea Louise Morse; James Ike Rainey, Lenard Lee Powell and Richard E. Staton of Wildwood; Toby Lee Griffith of Billings Montana and David L. Duncan of Huntsville, Utah.
Morse owns the M Square Ranch in the Pine Ridge area of Yellowstone and Big Horn counties southeast of Pompeys Pillar, Mont. Morse and Rainey jointly own the Wolf Mountain Ranch east of Hardin in Big Horn and Rosebud counties. Morse is also president and chief operating officer of The Villages.
Rainey owns Rainey Construction Co., which does work in The Villages. Powell is listed as president of LPI Curb Service, a concrete construction company that does work in The Village. Powell is listed as president of LPI Curb Service, a concrete construction company that does work in The Villages. Staton is a former Florida Wolf Mountain Ranch employee. Griffith is an employee of the M Square Ranch. Duncan is licensed as a hunting outfitter in Montana. His licensing records with the Montana Board of Outfitters list his address as Cut Bank, Mont.
Morse is charged with: Possessing a trophy mule deer buck in 2006 that was killed in Big Horn County in violation of conditions of an outfitter-sponsored license. Helping Rainey with an elk hunt in Big Horn County in September 2008 when neither Morse nor Rainey had an elk license valid in that area. Possessing three mule deer bucks in Big Horn County in November 2008 for which there were not proper tags. Possession of a bull elk taken in 2006 in Yellowstone County in violation of conditions of an outfitter-sponsored license. Killing a bull elk in Yellowstone County in 2007 when he did not have a valid Montana elk license. Helping his daughter, Kelsea Morse, kill a wild turkey, for which neither had a license, in the spring of 2007. Helping his daughter hunt, shoot and track a bull elk, for which neither had a valid license, in 2008 in Yellowstone County.
All of the charges against Morse of killing or illegally possessing elk and deer are felonies because the animals were classified as trophies or their value exceeded $1,000.
The combined maximum penalties for the charges against Mark Morse total $203,000 in fines, 21.5 years in prison and loss of Montana hunting and fishing privileges.
Rainey is charged with. Hunting elk in Big Horn County without a license in September 2008, a misdemeanor. Possession of two bull elk and four mule deer killed on two consecutive days in November 2008 in Big Horn County and for which Rainey did not have legal licenses. Because the value of the animals exceeds $1,000, Rainey is charged with a felony. Two misdemeanor charges of waste of game in Big Horn County in September 2009. Rainey is accused of killing two elk, then removing only the head from one elk and allowing the meat from both carcasses to rot.
The combined maximum penalties for the charges against Rainey total $53,000 in fines, 6.5 years in prison and loss of Montana hunting and fishing privileges.
MLissa Morse is charged with killing a mule deer buck in Big Horn County in November 2008 without a license. Maximum penalty for the misdemeanor is a $1,000 fine, six months in jail and loss of Montana hunting and fishing privileges.
Kelsea Morris is charged with wounding a bull elk with an arrow in 2008 and killing a turkey in 2007, both on the M Square Ranch, when she had valid Montana licenses to hunt neither.
Total possible penalties for the two crimes include a year in jail, $2,000 in fines and loss of Montana hunting and fishing privileges.
Griffith is charged with felony possession of a buck deer and bull elk that were killed by Mark Morse in 2006 in violation of Montana law dealing with outfitter-sponsored licenses. The law requires that the license be used only in the presence of the outfitter and the charges contend that the outfitter, David Duncan, was not present when the animals were killed. Griffith also is charged with putting his tag on a bull elk shot by Mark Morse in 2007.
Total possible penalties for Griffith include $51,000 in fines, 5.5 years in prison and loss of Montana hunting and fishing privileges.
Duncan is charged in Lewis and Clark County with two felony counts of tampering with public records and a misdemeanor count of purchasing a Montana resident hunting license while he was a resident of Utah. The charges accuse him of buying Montana resident licenses in Helena using his parents Cut Bank address, though he has lived in Utah since 1998.
The felony charges accuse
Duncan of falsifying required outfitter license documents, applications for hunting licenses and client logs.
Total penalties for Duncan could include $101,000 in fines, 20.5 years in prison and loss of Montana hunting and fishing privileges.
Powell is accused of illegal possession of two bull elk and four mule deer killed in Big Horn County in November 2008. The combined value of the animals exceeds $1,000 so Powell is charged with a felony. The crime carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $50,000 fine and loss of Montana hunting and fishing privileges.
Staton is charged with two misdemeanors in Big Horn County and one misdemeanor in Yellowstone County in November 2008. He is accused of using his licenses to tag a deer and an elk that he did not kill. And he is accused of possessing a mule deer that was illegally killed in South Dakota. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Additional charges are pending against 10 other people identified during the investigation,
Actually the dangerous gun handling should be, and the minutes suggest it was, a more important issue to ATA than the rabbit. It is for me. What if somebody had been in the Porta-Potty when they shot it up?
One of the many problems of today's society is that we want to forgive or forget everything done wrong by everyone. Just get on with life they say. Then we wonder why society has the problems that it does. No laws, no society.
I think I heard the words "forgive and forget" in more than one sermon at church. Killing a stinkin' rabbit does not rise to the level of killing another human being.
To all those posters who express the need to destroy every 'coon or squirrel that invade their back yard, regardless of season, shame on you too.
Let's not forget the awesome drivers who never exceed the 25 MPH speed zones by a little. After all, there could have been a toddler dashing across that road that very minute. I won't even mention it's a crime to do so.