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A recent public records request revealed that a Montana state senator was fined and lost his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for one year after pleading guilty to poaching a whitetail deer.

Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings, changed his plea to guilty on April 20 to the misdemeanor charge of taking more than his limit of deer. Webb initially pleaded not guilty in Sweet Grass County Justice Court to charges that he shot a whitetail buck last November, after he had already shot and tagged a mule deer buck.

The citation and plea surfaced after the Independent Record filed a request with the state for poaching citations in 2015 and 2016.

Webb declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday.

According to the citation, Webb had already harvested and tagged a 2X3 mule deer buck when he shot a 5X6 whitetail. The citation alleges that he shot from the road and onto private land where he did not have permission.

The whitetail was confiscated by game wardens, while the mule deer was not confiscated, the citation says.

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The citation also alleges the whitetail met trophy standards for restitution under Montana game laws. Montana Code Annotated notes that a trophy whitetail – one with at least four points on one antler – may carry restitution of $8,000.

The game warden noted a fine of $635 and restitution of $8,000 on the citation.

Sweet Grass County court documents show that following the April guilty plea, Webb was fined $1,000 plus a $35 surcharge with $500 suspended. He was also sentenced to six months in jail with all time suspended on the condition that he cannot have any violations for six months. Finally, Webb’s hunting, fishing and trapping privileges were forfeited for two years with one year suspended.

Webb is running for reelection against Democrat Paul J. Van Tricht.

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Reporter Tom Kuglin can be reached at 447-4076 or tom.kuglin@helenair.com

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Natural Resources Reporter

Natural Resources Reporter / Assistant Editor for The Independent Record.

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