How strong is the need for repentance? One guilty Montana resident, only identified as Roy, felt the need to unburden himself of a crime more than 40 years old. According to The Spokesman-Review, Roy illegally poached three whitetail doe in Washington state between the years of 1967 and 1970 and recently contacted officials about the crime.
Back then, the fines would’ve cost Roy around $250 per doe. Now it’s around $2,000, says Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) captain Richard Mann. However, since the crime took place 40 years ago, it is well beyond the statute of limitations for poaching and charges cannot be brought against the Montana resident.
So Roy decided to mail the DFW headquarters a $6,000 check.
“I was amazed,” Mann said. “It’s not uncommon for me to hear from people who are sorry for a wildlife infraction, but usually it’s because the judge stuck them with a big fine.”
Some argue that Roy’s apologetic donation comes too little, too late. Poaching is extremely damaging to wildlife and resource draining to the departments that safeguard them. This is why penalties for poachers are often severe.
There is however, sympathy for Roy. Some commenters believe that owning up to the crime was a courageous move on his part, and that he is making up now for mistakes committed in his youth.
“My conscience has not allowed me to put this sin to rest until now,” Roy wrote in a letter attached to the check. “I know that God has forgiven me and hope that WDFW will as well.”