The king, the baron, a celebrity & hunting “sportsmanship”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2006:
The Russian business daily Kommersant on
October 19, 2006 published a written allegation
by Vologda region deputy hunting chief Sergei
Starostin that a “good-natured and joyful bear”
named Mitrofan was in August 2006 taken from his
home at a local holiday resort, “generously fed
vodka mixed with honey,” and “pushed into a
field” where “His Highness Juan Carlos of Spain
took him out with one shot.”
The king, 68, “neither hunted with
Russian President Vladimir Putin nor killed a
bear,” a palace spokesperson told Paul Haven of
Associated Press. Haven noted that the
Kommersant account never mentioned Putin.

Vologda governor Vyacheslav Pozgalyov’s
spokes-person Yevgenia Toloknova told Haven that
the governor had “set up a working group,
including a deputy governor and top environmental
protection officials, to look into the incident.”
The allegation involving King Juan Carlos
followed the October 2 disclosure for Spiegel
Television, of Germany, that a “world record”
600-pound red deer with 37 antler branches shot
in 2005 by the Baron Eberhard von
Gemmingen-Hornberg “was no roaring wild stag of
the Bulgarian beech forests,” as initial reports
declared, “but rather a tame, chocolate-loving
deer raised in an Austrian game reserve,”
summarized Independent Berlin correspondent Tony
Patterson. The deer had been fed calcium tablets
to enhance antler growth.
“The stag’s name was Burlei. He was
completely tame. Children liked to feed him
chocolate,” said his former owner, Rudolf
Pöttinger, on camera. Pottinger sold Burlei for
£13,500. The Baron von Gemmingen-Hornberg paid
the Etropole outfitting firm Elen Hunting £65,000
to shoot Burlei. The baron was unsuccessful in
an attempt to sue Elen Hunting, after his
“record” was annulled.
The incidents involving royalty hunting
in Eastern Europe echoed U.S. federal indictments
of country singer Troy Lee Gentry, 39, and
captive hunting facility owner Lee Marvin
Greenly, 46, on multiple charges resulting from
Gentry killing a captive-reared bear in October
“The government alleged that Gentry and
Greenly tagged a bear named Cubby, killed on
Greenly’s property,” in Sandstone, Minnesota,
called the Minnesota Wildlife Connection, “and
registered the animal as if killed from the wild
population. The false tagging would be a
violation of the federal Lacey Act,” wrote Tad
Vezner of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Gentry
allegedly bought the bear from Greenly for about
$4,650. The bear’s death was videotaped, and
the tape later edited so Gentry appeared to shoot
the bear with a bow and arrow in a ‘fair chase’
hunting situation,” continued Vezner. “The pair
then shipped the bear’s hide to a Kentucky
taxidermist, the indictment said.”
Gentry and Greenly could each receive a maximum
penalty of five years in federal prison and a
$20,000 fine if convicted–but Lacey Act
sentencing history indicates that they would
probably get much less.
In a comparable case, U.S. Magistrate
Carolyn S. Ostby, of Great Falls, Montana, on
October 8, 2006 fined Lin Torgerson, 30,
$2,500, ordered him to make $500 restitution,
and put him on probation for two years.
Not a licensed outfitter, Torgerson, of
Etheridge, Montana, arranged for a Pennsylvania
man and his 13-year-old son to obtain hunting
permits, illegally coordinate a deer hunt with
two-way radios, kill three deer while licensed
to kill just two, and have the trophy mounts
sent to their home.
The steepest Lacey Act penalties in
connection with trophy hunting of which ANIMAL
PEOPLE has record were issued in January 2006 by
Judge Richard Cebull and U.S. Magistrate Richard
Anderson, of Bozeman, Montana.
Cebull fined outfitter John Daniel McDonald, 38,
$50,000, and barred him from ever hunting or
outfitting again.
Anderson in the same case fined McDonald’s
clients Jeffrey Stuart Young, 46, and Frank
Earl Shulze, 57, of Santa Rosa, California,
$2,500 each; ordered them to make $16,300 and
$8,000 restitution, respectively; barred them
from hunting for five years and fishing for two
years; and placed them on two years probation.
The defendants are believed to have killed more
than 15 elk, among other animals.
Anderson also ordered Young and Schultz
to write apologies to Montana Fish, Wildlife, &
Parks investigators for accusing them of lying in
letters that Young and Schultz sent to
higher-ups, including then-Montana Governor Judy

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