This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.
There are few movies that pack the emotional punch of Bambi.
Remember the first time you watched that? The first time you saw Bambi’s mother just get fucking demolished by a hunter? Lil’ Bambi, he’s just trying to figure it all out under the tutelage of his mother, finding some grass under the snow when he and mamma notice something near them.
Mamma Bambi warns the little one to go and they scamper off. She urges him to “keep running, keep running, keep running” and then BAM… she’s fucking dead and Bambi is left in the bushes calling for his mom who he will never again see. It’ll getcha good and I guess that is why a judge has ordered a poacher to watch it once every month for the next year.
Look, before you come all off like “oh these fucking babies just hate hunting” know that what this guy and his family did isn’t fucking hunting. The Berry family, out of Lawrence County, Missouri, apparently ran a poaching ring in which they illegally bagged hundreds of deer over the years. According to Springfield News-Leader, the case was one of, if not the, largest poaching case in Missouri history. According to reports, the family would apparently take bucks at night—shining a light in their face to make them freeze. They would mainly just take the animals for their heads and antlers and leave the bodies to rot. If you ask any real hunter, they'll tell you to eat the goddamn meat and actually respect the animal.
Now, David Berry Jr. apparently needed a little extra attention in order to see the error of his ways. Berry will be serving a year-long stint in the slammer but will be getting an extra dosage of punishment when there.
According to the Springfield News-Leader, court documents say that Berry “is 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 the defendants' incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail." The outlet didn’t say exactly why the judge ordered Berry to watch the movie every month but the reason seems pretty obvious and rather Clockwork Orange-y.
Alongside Berry, his dad, two brothers, and a buddy all received some sort of punishment from their involvement in the poaching scheme. This ranges from having their hunting and fishing licenses revoked to massive fines. In total, 14 people in Missouri faced more than 230 charges after authorities conducted a nine-month investigation. Authorities say that they were initially tipped off on the case from information gathered from a hotline.
Now, I’m sure there are many of you out there that are like, “well, what the fuck, what if Bambi’s mother was legally hunted, smart guy? Why make a poacher watch an anti-hunting movie?” To you I would say, that’s a good point but then I would cite the fact that Bambi’s mother is shot in spring and laugh in your face because most, if not all, North American hunting bylaws don’t allow spring hunting.
So shut up.
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