Just Deserts: Serial Deer Poacher Sentenced to Watch ‘Bambi’ Repeatedly For a Year

Bambi hunter sentence watch movie year

courtesy Disney and Buzzfeed.com

David Barry, Jr. and a group of his relatives were nabbed by the Missouri Department of Conservation after poaching hundreds of deer over the last few years. Worse still, as USA Today reports, “’The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste,’ said Lawrence County’s prosecuting attorney, Don Trotter.”

The case involves David Berry Sr. of Springfield; son David Berry Jr., 29, of Brookline; son Eric Berry, 20, of Everton, and Berry Sr.’s brother, Kyle Berry of Everton. State, federal and Canadian law enforcement agencies and conservation officers took part in a multi-year investigation involving the men and other suspects in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Canada.

Fourteen Missouri residents have been tied to more than 230 charges in 11 Missouri counties, according to a Missouri Department of Conservation news release.

David Barry Jr. courtesy Lawrence County Sheriff and AP

The scofflaw family didn’t confine their illegal activities to ungulates, either.

Before interviews in July 2016, David Berry Sr. and Eric Berry had been convicted of taking gamefish by hand, an illegal activity that can involve nets, explosives, electricity or spear guns rather than using a pole or rod and reel. During the 2017 firearms deer season, while awaiting his court appearance for violations from the 2016 investigation, Eric Berry and an accomplice were caught using a spotlight to freeze deer in their tracks, also illegal.

To date, this group of poachers has paid $151,000 in bonds and $51,000 in fines and court costs and collectively served 33 days in jail.

So when sentencing David Barry, Jr. this week to a year in the pokey, the presiding judge got creative . . .

The case was so egregious that Judge Robert George of Missouri’s 39th Judicial Circuit, which consists of Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties about 225 miles southwest of St. Louis, ordered a special addition to the jail term for one of the poachers.

David Berry Jr. must “view the Walt Disney movie Bambi with the first viewing being on or before Dec. 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter, during defendant’s incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail.”

We’re not sure, but we’d guess the professional poacher won’t be particularly moved by Disney’s depiction of lawful hunting.


Now if the judge really wanted to inflict some punishment on Barry, perhaps something from George Lucas . . .





  1. avatar MyName says:

    Ok, poaching is bad and poaching merely for trophies more so but this is just stupid. This guy and his accomplices deserve their fines and jail time but what purpose exactly does the compulsory viewing of a fictional children’s story serve? Is this some sort of weak kneed attempt to replicate the “cure” for Malcolm McDowell’s character in A Clockwork Orange?

    1. avatar Wild Bill says:

      True, but probably because the judge couldn’t dope slap this thieving POS into next week.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        If they are looking for a punishment that fits the crime, I suggest that they sentence the lowlife to a year of collecting, hauling and disposing of half rotten animal carcasses – without gloves or a mask.

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          Now THAT is a punishment that fits the crime(s)!

        2. avatar Mikial says:

          Now THAT is a really good idea. Poachers give all hunters a bad name and only provide the rabid environmentalists with fodder to hate us all.

    2. avatar Dog of War says:

      Personally I’m enough of a troll that I’d bring a bag of deer jerky for each compulsory viewing of the movie. But that said, I’d not coach deer in the first place. I… may not be above one of the coolers full of processed deer meat being a bit more full than should theoretically be possible. But poaching deer to that level? No way; if for no other reason that I wouldn’t want to deplete the population.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        Maybe coaching deer isn’t so bad. If you were a really good coach, maybe you could teach them to just come hop in the freezer.

        (JK, I want the edit button back too)

    3. avatar frank speak says:

      think you fail to see the humor in this…sort of like the dot on the exclamation point…people like this are an arrogant bunch…and total scofflaws….

  2. avatar LarryinTX says:

    WTF do you DO with hundreds of mounted deer heads? Is this for real?

    1. avatar john says:

      Chinese medicine uses ground antlers and velvet, but that would require only taking antlers not the entire head. Practitioners of Chinese medicine have been known to pay a premium for a lot of different animal parts. If this what these people are involved in then the fine and jail time is just a minor cost doing business.

      1. avatar MyName says:

        I suppose it is possible that Bubba and fam from MO are part of an international Chinese apothecary black market but I kinda doubt it.

        1. avatar john says:

          A poacher from I believe was the backcountry of Montana was caught several years back taking bear for just their livers. Was getting 1000s per by a group trafficking the livers for just this purpose. Making connections is not that out of reason when there millions of dollars to make. After all, there are a lot of hill people trafficking drugs for cartels.

        2. avatar MyName says:


          You do have a point about the drug trafficking. There are indeed a lot of folks that seem too stupid to breath that move a metric crap-ton of meth around.

          I suppose it is possible that they are into some animal parts black market – would be good if this prosecution was part of breaking up such a ring.

  3. avatar Tim says:

    Ever seen a cute, little deer get eaten by a pack of wolves, while it’s still alive?

    Good times, baby. Good times.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      I think a lot of the anti-hunting types out there think Bambi is a documentary. Surely out there in the woods all the little critters laugh and play all day unless the bad hunter man comes.

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        nobody hunts deer when the fawns are little like bambi…except these guys, of course…

    2. avatar Michael says:

      I’m feeling particularly nasty today. Hamstring him and his kin. Take ’em out in the woods, bait in a pack of wolves and post the whole thing all over the web…now, about bringing public hangings to one and all…-30-

    3. avatar GluteusMaximus says:

      Yes there is a disconnect with people these days. There is a huge amount of people that don’t see just how grim living on this planet can be.

  4. avatar Gasmd says:

    DesSerts with 2 “s”. Not desert as in hot place

      1. avatar MyName says:

        Ooof! Well played DZ.

        Don’t feel bad Gasmd, I’d have doubled up the ‘s’ as well.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      – definition:
      A little button we used to have to correct posts on TTAG.

  5. avatar jwm says:

    You leave the meat and take the trophy? You jacklight the deer? Out of season?

    Fuck you and your inbred family.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      Maybe while he’s in prison the cook will dump his soup in the trash and make him eat the can.

    2. avatar RA-15 says:

      JWM. Absolutely right !! There are too many inbred , lowlife , scumbags in the world. The hairbags should have received much worse than they got.

      1. avatar RA-15 says:

        SCUMBAGS !! where is the edit button ???

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      BTW, the judge didn’t decide on that fine by himself, he just plugged the buck’s B&C score into the formula established by the Ohio legislature in 2007.

  6. avatar Pmac says:

    Hierarchy of dirtbag, low life, scumbag, dog vomit eating criminals.

    1. Child molester/murder.
    2. Rapist
    3. Murderer of the innocent.
    4. Poacher!
    5. Domestic violence.
    6. Thief.
    7. Misdemeanor murderer. (One scumbag kills
    another.) Wait. Is that even crime?

    1. avatar Dog of War says:

      If that’s your organization chart of scum bags then you’ve got some pretty screwed priorities.

      1. avatar Pmac says:

        Just basing a lifetime of experience dealing with them. Okay, swap poacher and domestic violence. Innocent humans are worth more than animals.

        1. avatar Pmac says:

          What does your list look like?

        2. avatar Pmac says:

          Well, most humans.

        3. avatar New Continental Army says:

          Well he’s about to get plenty of time with Mr. #2 so…

        4. avatar Dog of War says:

          Trying to pick out which crime is the worse than others is open to massive interpretation. But big things like rape, child molestation, and murder are pretty obvious the top shelf of scumbags. But poaching and petty theft? Those don’t even rate compared to those other crimes.

      2. avatar Anonymous says:


        Poaching should be at the bottom of the list.

        1. avatar Pmac says:

          Poaching is a serious crime. Much of it done from the right-of-way on public streets, highways and interstates. (I’ve made arrests on all these locations. Even a rail road right-of-way.) This endangers motorists and citizens in their homes. I live in an incorporated township and watched a neighborhood dog, he’s an escape artist, chase a monster 8 pt through my back yard the other day. I know of several professional poachers in my area that would have thought nothing of running a rifle out the window of their vehicle and taking a shot. The elementary school across the street be damned. In my state: shooting from the right- of-way, shooting from a vehicle, trespass with a firearm, trespass by lethal projectile, all felonies. For a reason. Poachers are scum. I despise them. The last one I arrested shot a yearling doe from his truck on the roadside. Less than 200 yards from an occupied residence. He let his 16 year old son take the blame. I heard later that he did that because, his son being a juvenile, ‘He wouldn’t get in as much trouble.’ That exemplifies the character of a poacher.

        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          …heard later that he did that because, his son being a juvenile, ‘He wouldn’t get in as much trouble.’ That exemplifies the character of a poacher.

          That’s because you haven’t adequately explained / persuaded to him why it’s wrong.

          Regardless, I would still put it at the bottom of the list, underneath the murder of a person.

      3. avatar RA-15 says:

        And what are your priorities ? Pmac listed some good examples of filth this country would not miss , were they wiped from the face of the planet.

        1. avatar Anonymous says:

          Well you can’t wipe them from the face of the planet.

          If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being, and who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

    2. avatar Daniel says:

      So the person who rapes an innocent is worse than the person who murders an innocent? I’d rather get my ass raped than murdered any day of the week. Twice on Sunday.

      1. avatar New Continental Army says:

        You seem really eager about that statement….

        1. avatar Daniel says:

          Hey don’t knock it until you try it. Honestly though it depends on their size.

    3. avatar luigi says:

      Numbers 2&3, 4&5 should be swapped

      1. avatar Pmac says:

        If you had read on I did concede that domestic violence offenders and poachers should be swapped. I struggled with the whole rapist/murder of the innocent thing. Both destroy a life. Let’s do this. Both are equal and punishable by swift execution.

  7. avatar Salty Bear says:

    That’s what you get for killing the king’s deer without begging his dread permission.

    Honestly, I am 100% on board with conservation. It’s just that the entire state apparatus put in place to sell licenses, enforce bag limits, “fair chase” rules, and taxes on guns would be unnecessary if we could disabuse ourselves of the false notion that “the government” does or even can own land and animals. If that were *your* land and *your* deer, you’d be well within your rights to retaliate against this poacher. But instead, the state gets to hold up this guy as an example of how much we need Big Daddy Government to protect the deer.

    1. avatar MyName says:

      My objection is not so much him taking the “king’s deer” as him taking *my* deer (if this guy was poaching on public land) or *your* deer (if he was poaching on private land). I agree that, in general, the government digs it’s teeth too deep into virtually everything they bite but, this guy should indeed be prosecuted. He gave hunters a black eye, made life harder on those trying to put meat in the freezer, flat out wasted a resource and increased the likelihood of additional restrictions, regulations and fees on hunting.

      1. avatar RA-15 says:


    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Did ya miss the part where he was just killing them, taking the heads and leaving em to rot?

      1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

        Lotsa happy buzzards, crows, raccoons, possums, skunks, worms, etc., when they come upon a carcass. Nothing goes to waste.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    David Berry Jr. must view the Walt Disney movie Bambi with the first viewing being on or before Dec. 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter, during defendant’s incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail.

    Having to watch Bambi 12 times? That is definitely cruel and unusual punishment!

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Making somebody watch “Bambi” is the definition of cruel and unusual punishment. The only thing worse would be sentencing the miscreant to watch “The Notebook.”

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      The Crying Game.

    2. avatar The Rookie says:

      Or “The English Patient.”

      1. avatar frank speak says:

        or “Brokeback Mountain”?

    3. avatar Huntmaster says:

      Make him watch Barbara Streisand’s movies and eat popcorn with fake butter.

  10. avatar Anonymous says:

    The judge added the “bambi” spiel to humiliate him, and that is not justice. That is an act of malevolence that brings about resentment, and possible… retribution. A foolish mistake on his part. He should stick to his job and not make things personal. Justice is a woman blindfolded with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other. It is a serious matter. Not something whimsical for the sake of humiliation.

    The “hunter/poacher” should be following the rules. Even though the rules themselves are not just. Who the XXXX is the government to claim that they own all the animals? God owns the animals. The US government does not. But there is a flip side to that – the flip side, is that it is within our capacity to destroy all the deer. Every single one of them , and God will not stop us from doing so. So we regrettably do that which each individual should do. Take responsibility, on an unfortunate level. The collective level, instead of the individual level. By forcing everyone to do it, with a barrel of a gun.

    But then we have Mr. humiliation, the judge, who probably had a nice laugh out of this. And when you humiliate people for the purpose of humiliation, we call that “bullying.” And bullies get their ass kicked. So I don’t think this judge has the appropriate level of wisdom to do his job adequately.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      This guy went beyond poaching though, he wasn’t exactly defying the king by feeding his family or even conducting some tax free side business. He was just killing them for their heads and leaving the body to rot. A waste of such resources in colonial times would’ve probably earned him the hangman’s noose, or at least far worse then whatever you call this is.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        A waste of such resources in colonial times would’ve probably earned him the hangman’s noose, or at least far worse then whatever you call this is.



        Nobody would have killed a man because he let an animal go to waste. A person has a spark of divinity; an animal does not. It’s biblical. You don’t kill a man, because he killed an animal/animals.

        Maybe the indians would have killed him because he was slaughtering the animals needlessly. Otherwise, I doubt it.

        1. avatar New Continental Army says:

          In Texas they hung men for horse thievery. Philosophical debates are great and all, but in times past punishments were far more hardcore, that’s a fact. If he wouldn’t have been hung for wasting local resources, he would’ve been beaten in public with a cane, or spent a miserable time in the stockade, or would have been properly whipped. All in public. Personally I think such punishments aught to be brought back. None of them are “cruel or unusual.”

        2. avatar Anonymous says:

          In Texas they hung men for horse thievery.

          For theft sure. I can see that happening. Especially if they were a habitual hires thief.

          But not for killing wildlife and not adequately harvesting them. Or over killing wildlife needlessly.

  11. avatar bobinmi says:

    Should have been a lot more than a year.

  12. avatar John Clark says:

    “moved by Disney’s depiction of lawful hunting.” nope poaching “new spring grass”

    1. avatar Ty King says:

      The book was even more explicit, and straight up called the hunter a poacher.

  13. avatar Dick Hertz says:

    Another dumb redneck doing dumb redneck things. Plenty of dumb rednecks on this thread, too.

  14. avatar former water walker says:

    Ehhh…anyone ever hit one of these giant rat’s?!? Ex-wife did with MY kid in the car. Could’ve been killed…

  15. avatar Iron Cat Beast says:

    As a species, deer can kiss my ass. The only reasons to keep those jaywalking, yard-shitting, window-crashing idiots around are to feed various carnivores and make jackets out of them.

    But wasting that much perfectly good venison? That absolutely deserves punishment.

  16. avatar possum says:

    Bigfoots in Montana and Serial Deer in Missouri, huntings getting better.

    1. avatar UpInArms says:

      So maybe they should dress this guy up in a fur coat and drop him off in Montana…

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    I’ve heard of poor people in rural areas taking deer out of season by any means necessary to feed the family. Locals look the other way, even officials. Upstate N.Y. is one such area.

    Trophy poachers need a good solid ass beating. Two lawyers from NYC were hunting out of season near our family farm plot and they were arrested, guns taken, and deer confiscated. No mercy for them.

  18. avatar Upset_Subject says:

    Meh, poaching is bad but with hoops and asinine rules law abiding hunters have to go through it’s understandable. This is what happens when the King’s Deer it taken without permission. I find it insane the Government claims ownership of all animals, not just on the King’s land but on private property. That’s nuts……

  19. avatar Sora says:

    Disney needs to remake “Live Action” Bambi.
    The 2D one wasn’t real enough. Deer pics I’ve seen all had their eyes open with mouth gaping when they die and pose with the hunter!
    It should show the part where the deer gets skinned.

  20. avatar Red says:

    If he came to Virginia, North Carolina, or West Virginia and killed hundreds of deer, we’d all stand and cheer. No real natural predators and the deer are all over the roads, damaging hundreds of vehicles. No fan of deer.

  21. avatar Facts says:

    Wish this much thought was put into taking our country back from those FUCKING politctions running it into the ground only we can take it back!

  22. avatar Angry Dad says:

    Wow, this is reminiscent of the treatment of terrorist detainees at Gitmo where they get to listen to In A Gadda Da Vida for many hours straight. Right on!

  23. avatar Old Fart says:

    Where did they get a copy of Bambi? Is it the judges? My wife says it is only available periodically. Haven’t seen it in TV guide. Maybe have a pirated copy. How high would a person who steals cable TV be on that list of bad people?

  24. avatar Andrew says:

    I don’t agree with the crime done at all but if they had a half decent lawyer, this certainly qualifies as “cruel or unusual punishment” particularly “unusual”. We have laws and specified sentences as punishment for said laws for a reason.

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