A family from Missouri has been arraigned in a mass deer poaching case, where reportedly hundreds of deer were hunted and killed illegally. Conservation agents are calling it the largest deer poaching case  in the state’s history. The family David Berry Sr. of Springfield; son David Berry Jr., 29, of Brookline; son Eric Berry, 20, of Everton, and Berry Sr.’s brother, Kyle Berry of Everton were all convicted and lost their right to hunt. David Berry Jr. received one year and four months in jail for firearm use while on probation and the taking of wildlife illegally.

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The family would kill the deer and take just their heads and leave their bodies to rot, which may be the most off-putting detail in the case. They literally killed the deer only for the trophy, and the way they did it was highly illegal by hitting them with spotlights to stop them dead in their tracks before shooting them.  Randy Doman, of the Missouri Department of Conservation, said “It’s all about greed and ego. Taking just the heads is their version of obtaining a trophy, and leaving the carcass behind is merely an afterthought.”

“It is unknown how many deer the main group of suspects has taken illegally over the past several years,” said Andy Barnes, a Lawrence County conservation agent. “It would be safe to say that several hundred deer were taken illegally.” A case has been built against them since 2015 called “Operation Game Thief” which contained a majority of the information leading to their convictions.


All of the family lost their hunting, fishing, trapping and firearm privileges obviously. Berry Sr. and Jr. lost theirs for life while the younger culprits lost their rights for 18 and 8 years. The most interesting thing about the sentencing though here is that the judge ruled that in addition to Berry Jr.’s sentence, he must “view the Walt Disney movie Bambi with the first viewing being on or before Dec. 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter, during defendant’s incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail.” If you can LOL at all, I wonder what it’s going to be like for Berry Jr. to watch Bambi’s mom get killed over and over and will he gain any sympathy for the deer he killed? That remains to be seen, but can’t we agree that killing animals for fun is just disgusting?


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