February 19, 2015

From RavalliRepublic.com

Michael Chaplin, 45, pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanor game violations Wednesday in Ravalli County Justice of the Peace Jennifer Ray’s court.

The investigation in Chaplin’s case began last September when the caretaker of the Hank Williams Jr. place near Stevensville called Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Justin Singleterry to report a headless whitetail deer discovered on the property.

Chaplin was charged with illegally using bait, hunting deer in a closed season, wasting or abandoning a game animal, trespass and taking more than his limit.

Chaplin was fined $4,520 and required to pay $2,000 in restitution, which included $1,000 for the elk and $500 for each deer. He lost his hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges for 10 years, including the ability to accompany anyone in the field.

Chaplin will be on probation for the next five years.

Chaplin already has a history of breaking fish and game laws. He was convicted in either 2007 or 2008 for an over limit of elk. In that case, Chaplin lost his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges until 2012.

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