Missouri deer poacher ordered to repeatedly watch 'Bambi' in jail by judge

18 December, 2018, 11:14 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • David Berry Jr

While Disney's animated classic Bambi is responsible for traumatizing generations of kids with mommy-abandonment issues, a Missouri judge is using the beloved film to punish a convicted deer poacher by forcing him to watch Bambi's mom die once a month for an entire year.

While the total number of deer taken illegally is unknown, Lawrence County's conservation agent Andy Barnes said it could be "several hundred".

Berry was not the only defendant in the multi-year poaching investigation.

Berry also was sentenced last week to 120 days in jail in nearby Barton County for a firearms probation violation. They are believed to have killed hundreds of deer illegally.

Scene from the animated Walt Disney film, "Bambi".

The 1942 cartoon shows a hunter kill the mother of eponymous deer character Bambi.

Over almost nine years, David Berry and his two sons, David Berry Jr and Kyle Berry, killed the deer, mostly at night, then cut off their heads and antlers - leaving the bodies to rot where they fell.

Berry Jr received a year-long sentence in Lawrence County prison after pleading guilty to illegally taking wildlife.

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Berry Jr's family members have also been accused of catching fish by hand, an often-illegal process that can be risky to both fishermen and fish populations.

'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.

Officials say it is one of the largest such cases ever investigated by the state of Missouri.

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".

The eight-and-a-half month investigation also saw arrest warrants issued for David Berry Sr. and Kyle Berry and convictions were made with information from the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri's Operation Game Thief hotline.

David Berry Jr. Image: Lawrence County Sheriff's Office.

The men have paid a combined $71,000 ($US51,000) in fines and court costs but the judge ordered a special addition to Berry's sentence for illegally taking wildlife.

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