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Man convicted of deer poaching is sentenced to a year in prison — but has even more unusual punishment in store


Will it work?


Missouri man David Berry Jr. must watch Disney's 1942 animated movie "Bambi" monthly during his yearlong sentence for crimes in scheming to poach hundreds of deer.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the operation was one of the largest deer-poaching cases in state history.



According to Missouri state's Conservation Department, Berry was involved in the illegal killing of several hundred deer. Berry reportedly would take the heads of the deer and would leave their bodies to rot in the woods.

"The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste," said Don Trotter, Lawrence County's prosecuting attorney.

Berry, 29, was one of three men convicted for the crimes, and pleaded guilty. Berry was sentenced to a year in prison as a result of his crime, and a judge decreed that the convicted poacher would be required to watch "Bambi" once a month for the duration of his sentence.

ABC News reported that court records show Lawrence County Judge Robert George ordered Berry to "view the Walt Disney movie 'Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter."

Berry, his father, and his brother were all arrested in August after a nine-month investigation that spanned two other states as well as Canada. The conservation agency began looking into the family in 2015 after receiving an anonymous tip about deer poaching.

Berry was also sentenced to 120 days in jail in another county for a felony firearms probation violation.

What else?

Randy Doman, the state's conservation protection division chief, told the News-Leader that this type of poaching is nothing more than seeking out a "trophy."

“In situations like this, with serial poachers who have no regard for the animals, rules of fair chase or aren't bothered by the fact that they're stealing from others, it's all about greed and ego," he explained.

“Taking just the heads is their version of obtaining a 'trophy,' and leaving the carcass behind is merely an afterthought," he added. “While there are some cases where poachers go after the antlers for profit, with this bunch it was more about the thrill of the kill itself."

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