A 27-year-old former East Helena resident received a deferred sentence and will lose his hunting and fishing privileges for poaching a trophy elk on Super Bowl Sunday.
Christopher D. Dolan, who now lives in Washington state, where the hunting penalty will remain in effect for the next ten years, appeared in District Court in Helena Wednesday.
Authorities arrested Dolan on felony charges of unlawful possession of a game animal and tampering with physical evidence. Dolan also must pay $8,000 in restitution.
Game wardens took Dolan into custody after a search of his residence turned up a set of trophy-size 6-by-7 elk antlers. The set matched photographs taken of the dead elk that wardens believe were taken only 20 minutes before the animal was shot Feb. 5, about the time when the Super Bowl was being broadcast.
Dolan told wardens he shot the animal and cut of its head. A few days later, he saw a flyer about the elk poaching so he validated his elk tag and attached it to the antlers “to make it seem as if he legally killed the elk during hunting season,” according to court documents.