A Kalispell man has been ordered to pay $8,420 in restitution and fines in connection with multiple big-game hunting violations in Blaine County last November.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks Warden Sgt. Shane Reno of Havre said Timothy W. Giardina, 38, initially was charged with five misdemeanor counts 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.
Reno said Giardina shot the elk in Hunting District 680 last Nov. 21 without having the proper license or permit to do so. The two deer were killed over the next several days. On Nov. 26, Giardina hiked back to the downed elk and took only the head and rack, leaving the meat to rot. The bull’s antlers had a gross green score of 354-2/8 points.
Reno had two separate encounters with Giardina and his wife while patrolling earlier and was suspicious about their hunting stories, as well as their behavior. Soon after Giardina headed home with the sawed-off elk head in his truck, a search warrant was issued for his home and vehicle. The elk head and antlers were seized as evidence, as well as 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.
Giardina was ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution because of the animal’s trophy status and $420 in fines. He was also sentenced to 180 days in jail, all time suspended, and lost his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for five years in Montana and the 38 other states participating in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.