Roundup man's hunting privileges revoked for 10 years after elk poaching

What began as a sweeping prosecution for three bull elk poached in Musselshell County ended last month with a conviction for a single elk killed out of season and a man's hunting privileges revoked for 10 years.

Earl Russell Benes, 27, was convicted at trial in 2021 of poaching a single bull elk, despite, according to charging documents, admitting to shooting three elk out of season from a vehicle in two shootings a few days apart in 2019.

On Dec. 18, District Court Judge Randal Spaulding also ordered Benes to pay $8,200 in restitution and sentenced him to 28 days in jail on the five game violations for which he was convicted: hunting without a license, waste of a game animal, hunting during closed season, hunting over the limit and hunting while suspended.

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