Poacher Sentenced to Watch ‘Bambi’ During his Time in Jail

Two bucks standing in a field five feet apart.

Two bucks standing in a field five feet apart.

On December 13th a Missouri man has been sentenced to a year in jail for involvement in an illegal deer poaching ring but his punishment doesn’t stop there. David Berry Jr. was also ordered by the judge to watch the Walt Disney classic “Bambi” at least once a month during his time in jail.

Concluded Investigation

Berry Jr., along with two family members, and multiple others were all a subject of a poaching investigation that has spanned several months. This poaching ring has been going on for several years now. The investigation involved several of the southern states, as well as parts of Canada. More than 300 charges in state, federal, and international jurisdictions were filed on this group of poachers.

Several Hundred Dead Deer

Although agents don’t know the exact number of deer that were killed by this ring, estimations are over a hundred. Lawrence County Conservation Agent, Andy Barnes, said in a Missouri Department of Conservation statement that the real number is unknown.

“It is unknown how many deer the main group of suspects has taken illegally over the past several years,” Agent Andy Barnes said. “It would be safe to say that several hundred deer were taken illegally.” [1]

The deer that were killed were mostly trophy bucks, some were killed for financial gain, but most were shot for trophies. Their heads would be removed, and the rest of the buck’s body would be left to rot.

Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Don Trotter said. “The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste.”

Bonds, Fines, and Additional Punishment

The group of poachers has paid $151,000 in bonds and $51,000 in fines and court costs and collectively served 33 days in jail. David Berry Sr. and David Berry Jr. have had their hunting, fishing and trapping privileges revoked for life.

According to court records obtained by the News-Leader, David Berry Jr. “is to view the Walt Disney movie ‘Bambi,’ with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter, during Defendant’s incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail.” [2]


  1. ^“Court sentencings finalize one of state’s largest-ever poaching investigations.” Missouri Department of Conservation, 19 Dec. 2018, mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/court-sentencings-finalize-one-state%E2%80%99s-largest-ever-poaching-investigations. (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Johnson, Wes. “‘Bambi’ as punishment? Sentence in SW Missouri poaching case includes mandated viewings.” Springfield News-Leader, 18 Dec. 2018, www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2018/12/13/multi-year-poaching-probe-nabs-four-sw-missouri-family-members/2305173002. (go back  ↩)

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