For the second time this month, bighorn sheep in Montana are making crime headlines. And for the second time, it's the story of another outdoorsman trying to bend the law with body parts.

Earlier this month an elderly Vaughn rancher pled guilty to importing body parts from the world's largest sheep breed from the mountains of Kyrgyzstan to Montana. Prosecutors said he spent 10 years working to create a hybrid trophy sheep for hunters.

In this latest incident, an Idaho man has been sentenced for taking a roadkill bighorn from Montana and trying to pass it off as a legal road salvage at home.

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Roadkill raised questions

Idaho Fish and Game say the man, who wasn't identified, was sentenced In Kootenai County court for the scheme, which started after wardens got suspicious when he brought the sheep head into the agency's field office in Coeur d'Alene.

Roadkill salvage is legal in Idaho, but some species, like bighorn sheep, must be inspected after recovery.

The man claimed the sheep had been recovered from the side of the road in Fremont County, which is in Eastern Idaho, south of West Yellowstone. But authorities say their investigation, along with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, revealed the animal had really been salvaged north of the border in the Madison Valley near Ennis.

While roadkill salvage is allowed in Montana, bighorn sheep are off-limits.

A rare case

“Fortunately, we have seen very few individuals abusing the law and using it to unlawfully smuggle wildlife across the border as was done in this case,: explained Upper Snake Regional Conservation Officer Barry Cummings

The man was granted a "withheld judgment", but was ordered to pay a $10,000 civil penalty, over $1300 for restitution for DNA processing, had his hunting license revoked for 2 years, and was placed on probation for 2 years.

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Gallery Credit: KC