Man pleads guilty after illegally killing bighorn sheep

BOZEMAN – A Deer Lodge man pleaded guilty this month to several charges after illegally killing a bighorn sheep in the Highland Mountains.

Harold Horine, 45, shot a bighorn sheep ram on Nov. 22 without a license. He did not report the kill to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and he left the meat to waste. A witness who observed the violation contacted FWP after finding the dead sheep abandoned. Game wardens interviewed Horine, who said he mistook the sheep for an elk.

Horine pleaded guilty in Madison County Justice Court on Dec. 7 to hunting without a valid license, unlawful possession of a game animal, failure to obtain landowner permission when hunting, and waste of a game animal.

Horine was ordered to pay $5,245 in fines and restitution. His hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were suspended for two years, and his ability to apply for special permits was suspended for 12 years.

Montana game wardens rely on tips from people who observe crimes against wildlife. FWP’s 24-hour hotline for reporting these crimes is 1-800-TIP-MONT. Callers could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.