All the maybe's aside, what makes the MFWP above the law. They committed a more serious crime than what they have charged the "criminals" with. If these guys were serious poachers, I'm sure they would be charging them with something more serious than trespassing and guiding without a license (both of which sound a little shaky after reading more on the situation). The ONLY felony they are charged with is unlawful possession of a sheep that the MFWP killed!...which, if the trespassing charge fails the unlawful possession would fail too as that sounds like the only thing that made it illegal (tag was valid, open season). And who wouldn't pay $5000 for the Montana state record sheep head if you have the money? The whole thing sounds like it is treading dangerously close to entrapment.
Couple of questions...
Do you know all the facts in this case? And if not, just how much about it do you know or think you know?
You said, "What makes MFWP above the law?"... "They have committed a more serious crime than what the "criminals" have been charged with." Can you explain what more serious crime they have committed than what they are charging the other guys with? Or.. any crime at all? I mean actual on the book crimes, not your subjective estimation of a crime.
Do you know for a certain, that these agents lives were not at risk if they refused to make a killing shot the third time? If so, I guess you must have been rigth there with them.
Rushing to judgement?... making conclusions without all the facts?.... hmmmm...
Having had 5 yrs game law enforecemnt experience I would have to say the agent went far beyond the limits of 'working undercover' and should be summarily fired...then arrested and charged with multiple aggravated misdemeanors to equal a felony.
When you make a statement like that, you should back it up with facts and the law, page and paragraph. Just what limits did they go beyond and what misdemeanors are they guilty of???
Sure there is some grey area here but like others have said, how many trophys were lost due to these criminals before the sting. Undercover work is done in the grey area. Wheather its buying drugs, guns, or big horns, there is now text book for this stuff.
Obviously they agent didnt want to shoot it by missing twice and buying time but got backed into a corner himself. Yes, a trophy was potentialy taken from a worthy hunter but if this Big horn was this big, whos to say it would have lived to see another season?? Also the trickle effect from this arrest and hopefully prosecution will deter future poachers from trying their luck. If the state gets a conviction I'm sure they will make an example of them during sentencing.
Sometimes to catch a wolf you need to be a wolf.
" People sleep peacably in their bed at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf " - George Orwell
I am the way I am because I watched the movies "Red Dawn" and "Tremors" at a impressionable age.
Montana FWP is top of the food chain. They answer to no one other than the President of the United States. If they want you for any reason, right or wrong, they will get you, and they will use any means to do so. I do not trust them. I will never ask them for help if I make a mistake in the field. The only help they will give you is a ticket, and hunting rights suspended. If you all have been hunting long, you know mistakes happen.
I call it entrapment. I am no lawyer, but it sure stinks to me.
In light of not knowing the full story, it is hard to give a quality opinion. However, it would seem that when the under cover agent was given the "go-ahead to kill" in which at that time Mr. Lewton specifically said something to the effect of "there he is, now shoot him" and at that time the under cover agent shoots at the ram, missing on purpose. That in and of itself should have been enough evidence to convict Mr. Lewton... without actually killing the ram later.
I have been putting in for that area for a few years now. I know that I have very little chance in drawing that tag, but every year I send MFWP my money and hope for a chance to hunt those great rams. I feel that everyone who puts in for a sheep tag in MT got screwed on this deal, needlessly.
"GOD, GUTS, AND GUNS MADE AMERICA FREE" AND I'M KEEPING ALL THREE!