April 27, 2015

From GreatFallsTribune.com

The state’s largest game farm is shutting down after a joint investigation by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Department of Livestock found several violations including wild elk, deer and antelope inside a fence with the captive herd, FWP officials said.

The case raised concerns about wild animals being shot by game farm hunters, the spread of disease and genetic mixing between wild and captive animals, FWP investigators said.

Ivan Lynn Bowman, 71, was fined $3,999, given a suspended six-month jail sentence, and forfeited his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for five years. Bowman’s privileges already are suspended until October 2015 for shooting an overlimit of antelope in 2013, and the current sentence will begin then.

Janet Bowman, 56, was fined $1,500.

FWP also began a civil case to revoke the license for the farm, and the Bowmans agreed to pay a $5,000 fine and shut down their operation, FWP said.

Initiative 143, passed in 2000, banned new game farms. The law banned existing game farms from being sold, and outlawed “canned” hunting inside game farms.

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