Poacher Blames Addiction

Poacher says he just couldn't help but hunt illegally.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

Does your head start hurting if you don't have your morning coffee? Or, for you smokers, do you get irritable if you can't make it to your regular smoke break? What about hunting? Are there times when you can't function as a law-abiding citizen because you need to get your fix of hunting? The first two are documented forms of substance addiction. The third is what longtime poacher Gary Motarie told a Great Falls, Mont. court. He is addicted to wildlife, and as such, cannot control his urges to chase game after dark, out of season or over the limits.

But nobody's buying it. Dr. Dan Nauts, head of the Benefis Addiction Treatment Center told the Great Falls Tribune, "He may be obsessed with hunting and fishing, but it's not the same thing as being addicted." Typically truly addicted people will neglect everything from jobs to family.

The judge wasn't impressed with Motarie's creative defense, but she exerted her own originality when sentencing him. Motarie was ordered to pay $15,000 in fines and $3,100 in restitution.