Deer poacher jailed and ordered to watch Disney classic Bambi for a year

A man jailed for deer poaching has been ordered to watch Bambi on repeat in an attempt to rehabilitate him.

David Berry Jr. was told he must watch the 1942 Disney classic at least once a month during his year-long spell in prison.

Berry was complicit in a family-inspired plot to kill hundreds of deer across Lawrence County in Missouri state.

Local media reported that the case was one of the largest of its kind in state history.

On being sentenced, Berry was told he must watch Bambi for the first time by December 23.

The men had scheme to poach hundreds of deer. Credit: AP

"The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste," prosecutor Don Trotter said.

Also arrested were Berry's father, two brothers and another man.

It followed a nine-month investigation involving cases in Kansas, Nebraska and Canada.

Bambi and the rabbit Thumper in the 1942 classic. Credit: Walt Disney

Investigators said David Berry Sr's other son, Eric Berry, was later caught with another person spotlighting deer, where poachers use light at night to make deer pause and easier to hunt.

Court documents showed Berry Jr was ordered by Lawrence County Judge Robert George 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" while at the county jail.

Together the men have paid a combined $51,000 in costs.