A man from Darby Montana with a long criminal history, including prison time for poaching, was sentenced to five years for illegal outfitting and possessing parts of unlawfully killed animals. After he is released from prison, Justin D. Hadley, 40, will be required to wear a GPS tracking collar from September to February for the next five years to ensure that he doesn’t stray back on lands open to hunting. Hadley was sentenced Sept. 10 to five years in prison with another ten years suspended following a plea bargain agreement that condensed 33 charges down to five, including three felony counts.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks warden Lou Royce and others put the complicated case together. “I’ve never had this much time into one case,” Royce said. “It was a complex case with a lot of moving parts.” Hadley pleaded guilty to two felony counts of outfitting without a license and a felony charge of possessing parts of unlawfully killed animals, including two deer and a bull elk. In addition, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of operating a motorized vehicle on an unlawful route and aiding a person to hunt mule deer in Hunting District 270. “That district is the hardest deer tag to draw in the state of Montana,” Royce said.
This is an excellent reminder to all the hunters out there to check up on the outfitter you are using. We do way too many news stories on bad guides, and you do not want your hunt of a lifetime to be messed up by a shady guide.