A Minnesota hunter enjoying the elk season in Montana was issued a citation this season for "failure to properly tag" the elk he killed. According to reports, Jim Latvala harvested a beautiful bull elk in the early hours of the morning at first light. He and his brother then had to wade through a swamp to reach the animal. Upon reaching their bull, the pair were elated and took a moment to survey the area, appreciate the animal, and let the joy of a successful hunt wash over them.
Then the Reality TV Cameras came. A Montana Fish and Wildlife Officer, Drew Scott, approached the pair while being followed by TV Cameras for the show "Wardens." According to him, because the hunters had taken "20 minutes" before tagging the bull, he not only had to issue the shooter a citation but also confiscate the entire bull, antlers and all.
According to Joe Knarr, the Warden Sergeant for the area the incident occurred in, "If you read the statute, it says you must immediately validate the tag." No time for joy or elation here. No high fives, handshakes, or pats on the back. No allowing for a quiet moment with the animal out of respect for him and the tradition of hunting. Apparently, the best kind of hunter in Montana is a bureaucrat who approaches with folders of paperwork and no feelings whatsoever.
If you are ever issued a citation while hunting, whether for a hunting related crime or not, it is imperative that you retain counsel to help you through the judicial process. Citations like the one issued here should be taken very seriously and defended with the utmost effort. An attorney at Wildlife Lawyers can help answer your questions and counsel you about any violations you may have received.