Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, YouTube | Scott Lewis

Man Who Poached Hundreds Of Deer Ordered To Watch 'Bambi' In Jail

Every now and then, the phrase "let the punishment fit the crime" gets thrown around in a similar way to "an eye for an eye." Both can feel satisfying to say in the moment, but they're not usually helpful to running an effective modern legal system.

However, that may depend on how exactly someone intends to make the punishment fit the crime. After all, whether one Missouri judge's attempt to do that has any impact or not, it won't do any harm.

Before he appeared before Judge Robert George's court, David Berry Jr. was involved in one of the largest cases of poaching Missouri has ever seen.

Lawrence County Sheriff's Office

According to the Springfield News Leader, Berry illegally hunted several hundred deer along with his father and two brothers.

Local conservation agents don't know exactly how many deer the Berrys poached, but they had been doing it for years.

Reddit | JuneBug_92

The group had not only racked up wildlife violations in Missouri, but were tied to other violations in Nebraska, Kansas, and even Canada.

As a result, both David Berry Jr. and his father have had their hunting and fishing privileges revoked for life, while his brothers Eric and Kyle had theirs revoked for 18 years and eight years, respectively.

However, that was hardly the extent of the consequences they faced for their poaching scheme.

Reddit | Segiphia

Collectively, the family has already served 33 days in jail, paid $151,000 in bonds and $51,000 in fines.

David Jr. was sentenced to a year in jail for the poaching, but will also serve another 120 days for a felony firearms probation violation.

That part is business as usual for a court, but Judge George had something special in mind for David.

YouTube | Scott Lewis

According to court records, David is ordered "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 Defendants incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail."

The massive scale of poaching is likely a factor for why David must watch "Bambi" every month, but how the deer were treated also matters.

YouTube | Measahipster

Don Trotter, one of the case's prosecutors, said that in most of the incidents, only the deer heads were taken and the rest of their bodies were left to waste.

From that, it was argued that the Berrys had no regard for the animals themselves and were only interested in taking trophies.

Based on one of the techniques they used, it also seems like the poachers weren't interested in the rules of fair chase.

Reddit | [deleted]

As the Associated Press reported, Eric Berry and an accomplice were caught using a technique called "spotlighting," where a poacher shines light on a deer at night to make it pause.

Essentially, they were using the "deer in the headlights" effect to make them easier to hunt.

And so, there are no shortage of reasons why the judge would sentence a poacher to a year of Bambi screenings.

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