Belfry couple denies illegally killing 3 elk, 2 deer
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Belfry couple denies illegally killing 3 elk, 2 deer

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A Belfry couple has pleaded not guilty in Carbon County Justice Court to charges of illegally killing three elk and two deer in a series of incidents starting in 2016.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game wardens filed four charges against Jeff Minchow and three against his wife, Kasey McClane.

The charges arose from a series of incidents, including one in which Minchow and McClane are accused of killing two cow elk in August and tagging them with licenses not valid during the early season. Minchow also is accused of later killing a 6x6 bull elk on Oct. 2 on the Wally Papez property during the archery-only season without a valid elk license or bow and arrow license. The restitution amount for killing the bull is $1,000.

Minchow is charged with failure to properly tag one cow elk shot in August on the JG Ranch, hunting during archery season without valid licenses, exceeding the limit on elk by killing a bull later in the season and illegal possession of the bull elk.

McClane is accused of killing a two-point mule deer buck in 2016, tagging it with her daughter’s license, then killing another mule deer buck later in the year. She is charged with illegal transfer of a tag for the incident involving her daughter’s license and exceeding the buck deer limit for killing an additional deer. She also is charged with failure to properly tag a cow elk killed during the early elk season.

Killing a second deer could merit a $500 restitution fine, according to the citation.

"The 2016 violations were uncovered as part of the investigation into the cow elk poaching incidents," according to Bob Gibson, FWP communication manager.

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