A Kalispell man has been ordered to pay over $8,000 in restitution and fines stemming from multiple big-game hunting violations in Blaine County in the Bears Paw Mountains south of Chinook last November.
Timothy W. Giardina, 38, was initially charged with five misdemeanors for “illegally killing a 7 x 7 trophy bull elk in the Bears Paw Mountains south of Chinook without a license, wasting meat by not retrieving the elk after it died, trespassing on private land to shoot a mule deer buck and to saw off the dead bull’s head and antlers, and improperly using his wife’s license to shoot a white-tailed deer buck,” according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
According to FWP, Giardina shot the elk on Nov. 21, 2012 without having a permit or proper license. The two deer were killed over the next couple of days. Then, on Nov. 26, Giardina hiked back to the dead elk and took the head and antlers – which have a gross green score of 354-2/8 points – and leaving the meat to rot.
FWP Warden Sgt. Shane Reno of Havre encountered Giardina and his wife on two separate occasions and said he was suspicious about the couple’s hunting stories and behavior.
A search warrant was issued for Giardina’s truck and home soon after Giardina went home with the sawed-off elk head in his truck. The head and antlers were seized as evidence, and investigators found photographs and other items related to the illegal hunting trip.
As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Giardina pleaded guilty in Blaine County Justice Court to charges of unlawfully possessing the illegally killed elk and wasting a game animal, resulting $8,000 in restitution because of the animal’s trophy status and $420 in fines.
He was also sentenced to 180 days in jail, with all time suspended, and he lost his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for five years in Montana and the other 38 states participating in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.