(NEXSTAR) – A father and son face jail time and have had their hunting licenses revoked for illegally killing a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park.
According to Idaho Fish and Game, an adult female grizzly bear was shot and killed near the Pole Bridge Campground, roughly 10 miles west of Yellowstone, in March last year.
Fish and Game staff received a mortality signal from the bear’s collar, and the carcass was later found lying in the Little Warm River with multiple gunshot wounds. A young cub that “perished as a result of [its mother’s] death” was found in the grizzly’s den.
Grizzly bears are protected under state and federal law in Idaho with no current hunting season in the state.
“The loss of a reproductive female grizzly is a real tragedy,” said Regional Conservation Officer Doug Petersen shortly after Fish and Game began investigating the illegal killing. Various rewards were offered, totaling $40,000, for information leading to a citation and conviction.
In November, while speaking with Fish and Game, Jared Baum admitted to shooting the bear but said he believed it was a black bear. There wasn’t a black bear season open in the area at the time of the shooting, according to Fish and Game.
Baum then said he had tracked the bear and thought he had shot it 40 times – 12 bullets and a bullet fragment were found in the bear’s carcass – as it was running downstream. Baum told officers that when he realized it was a grizzly and he had shot her too many times, “he finished her.”
According to Fish and Game, Baum added that his father, Rex Baum, had accompanied him and that he had tossed the two handguns they had used into a pond. The Bonneville County Search and Rescue Dive Team searched the pond, but Fish and Game say no firearms were found.
As part of a plea deal, Jared Baum pleaded guilty to a felony and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. His hunting license has also been revoked for life. Rex Baum pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and faces three days in jail. His hunting license has been revoked for 10 years in all 48 of the states included in the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.