Two brothers, one a California resident, owe over $50,000 in fines and lost their Montana hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for 25 years stemming from a bull elk poaching case in that state.
Following an investigation by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ game wardens, James Stephen Page, of Garniell, and William Thomas Page, of California, were charged last August with illegally killing eight bull elk between 2006 and 2016 on the 3 Bar Ranch southwest of Lewistown.
James Page faced six felony counts of unlawful possession of a game animal, two counts of felony tampering with evidence, one misdemeanor count of hunting without a license, and two counts of misdemeanor failure to obtain landowner permission for hunting. The tampering with evidence charges stemmed from accusations that following execution of a search warrant, James Page cut the antlers off two trophy bull elk and threw them in a pond.
Seven of the bulls met standards as trophy animals, which qualify as felonies in Montana. Bulls with at least six points on one side and scoring more than 320 inches under the Boone and Crockett system are considered trophies. The largest bull scored 365, according to investigators.