Pit buck photo

This buck deer that lived near the Berkeley Pit was killed by a poacher on Nov. 4, according to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

FWP, provided

Charges have been filed against 19-year-old Tanner Maloney of Butte in a case involving the illegal killing of a large mule deer buck known to spend most of its time on the outskirts of the Berkeley Pit.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks enforcement received a tip about the case in which a well-known mule deer was shot around the Granite Mountain Speculator Mine Memorial in the late evening of Saturday, Nov. 4.

Charges filed include unlawful possession, hunting within city limits, and hunting without a valid license.

The 5x5 mule deer met scoring criteria for restitution.

“Pit bucks” or “mine bucks" are bucks that have been living in the Berkeley Pit area for years and, if not hunted, they tend to get big and will often come into neighborhoods and become known to the community.

In September 2016, FWP encountered a similar case in which a large mule deer buck was shot and mortally wounded in Uptown Butte. Kyler Olsen of Butte eventually pleaded guilty to charges including unlawful possession, shooting with artificial lights and within city limits, shooting from a vehicle, and abandoning a big game animal among other charges.

Butte Sgt. Coy Kline says he’s thankful for the help of the community.

“We’re lucky to have a watchful public out here that truly values its wildlife. A lot of these cases might go unsolved without this help.”

The best way to alert FWP to wildlife crime in Montana is to call 800-TIP-MONT. Callers may remain anonymous.

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