Mountain lion poached in Yellowstone

In this photo taken by Austin Peterson included in a National Park Service investigation report, Trey Junhke and Corbin Simmons pose with a mountain lion illegally killed in Yellowstone National Park.

Celebratory social media posts tipped off authorities to a trio of Montana mountain lion hunters who illegally killed a tomcat in Yellowstone National Park.

Photos shared via Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, including publicly accessible images, were deleted, but not before other hunters recognized the landscape and alerted game wardens. While pressing 19-year-old hunter Corbin Simmons about the incident during a Jan. 10 interview, Yellowstone special agent Jake Olson explained what led him to the case.

“You know, we ended up getting a lot of this information from a guy in Bozeman off of Facebook,” Olson said, “’cause you guys put a bunch of stuff on social media.”

The law enforcement ranger lectured the young hunter, explaining that free-running hound dogs giving chase to lions accidentally cross into Yellowstone with some regularity and the right thing to do when that happens is to report the incursion and leave the treed cat unscathed.

“Obviously, that’s where the major error occurred here,” Olson said. “You guys have to police yourself out there. You gotta do this right.”

He scolded Simmons for fueling anti-hunting sentiments and feeding calls for a no-hunting buffer zone around Yellowstone, where National Park Service policies prohibit killing terrestrial wildlife.

The above exchange comes from a transcript included in an investigation report that led to the conviction of Austin Peterson, Trey Junhke and Simmons, all either 19 or 20 years old and from Livingston, Montana.

Yellowstone officials publicized the case after it had been adjudicated in May, but park officials declined to make law enforcement officers available for an interview or answer follow-up questions about details in their press release. The News&Guide obtained investigation documents, which are public records, through a Freedom of Information Act request.

During separate interviews about a month after their hunt, the three men repeatedly got their stories crossways. They confused details like when they saw boundary posts, who shot at the lion and what color Peterson’s GPS screen displayed when the device supposedly malfunctioned.

Peterson told Montana warden Drew Scott that a faulty GPS showed “all white,” while Junhke claimed that it was “just pure black.” Another account passed to authorities claimed the screen went purple, and Junhke later amended his recollection to “purplish black.”

Accounts also differed over who shot at the mature male lion, with Junhke initially denying discharging a firearm. State and federal law enforcement officers eventually ascertained that all three men fired at the tom, which was hit a total of eight times, according to the investigation.

After hounds initially treed the cougar, one of the men reportedly climbed the tree to “knock it out” so that the dogs could continue to give chase. Treed a second time on a hillside overlooking the Yellowstone River, the lion was shot in the chest with a Glock .45-caliber pistol. The animal jumped and was fired at again, but managed to run an estimated 80 yards before being shot and killed where it took refuge under a rock.

The hunters again told conflicting stories when asked where they killed the cat.

Initially, Peterson told warden Helms that they left the carcass at the kill site after skinning the animal and taking some meat and its skull. But Simmons told warden Drew Scott that they “took it,” leaving the remains in the Gallatin National Forest about 2 miles north of where the cat was killed.

While registering the lion with state wildlife officials in Bozeman, Simmons provided a township and range that was 2 1/2 miles away from the true location of the kill.

A Facebook picture Peterson posted looking down into the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone convinced another mountain lion hunter that the trio illegally killed the tomcat in the park. After hearing from people who suspected that Peterson was in the park, the photo was deleted.

Peterson wrote in a statement that a “few days” after the lion was shot he looked at his onX hunting app, which shows land ownership jurisdictions and realized there was a “good chance” the animal was poached in the park.

“I was extremely worried,” he stated in writing, “but decided to just see what happened.”

On May 3 a federal judge sentenced Peterson, Junhke and Simmons to uniform sentences for violating the Lacey Act. They all pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay $1,666 each in restitution, sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation and stripped of their hunting and fishing privileges for three years.

In Yellowstone’s announcement about the poached lion, Chief Ranger Pete Webster thanked law enforcement.

“Their thorough work spotlighted this egregious act,” Webster said, “and the consequences incurred for hunting illegally in Yellowstone National Park.”

Special agent Olson tried to impart some lessons during his interview with Simmons, too. The violation, he told the young hunter, is a “huge, huge crime.”

“It has huge penalties, and it can have fallout that can last your whole life,” Olson said. “I want you to understand how close you were to [a] completely life-altering mistake in that regard. And it doesn’t matter that you necessarily didn’t realize you were in the park.”

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them for 7 years. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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(69) comments

TR Reale

Despicable. True hunters don't hunt cats. Deliberately killing mountain lions and other wildlife should be a federal felony. I'd happily put a bullet between the eyes of those sh*t eating clumsy looking hounds. Die from anal cancer f*****g sadistic lunatics.

Bev Smith

Has anyone actually seen the border these young men crossed into Yellowstone. The “marked boundary” that keeps getting reported is yellow reflectors attached to random trees. Pretty tough to notice when you are running through the woods. They didn’t know they had entered the park. If they did, why would they post photos on social media?? For all of you who say mountain lion hunting is trophy hunting, people do eat mountain lion and it is quite good. It is not just trophy hunting. These young men made a mistake, that is why the judge gave them the sentence he did, because it was not purposeful. Just because you don’t agree with hunting, does not mean that these young men are murderers or deserve to die. Some of you are so harsh with your desire to see them pay. It’s sad really. The young men were legally hunting-they made a mistake-they didn’t intend to-they are paying for it.

Jay Westemeier

You must be a relative.

Chad guenter

Ms. Smith: Rational comments like yours never go far with the irrational/politically motivated anti-hunting left.

Jay Westemeier

Or with the rational non-politically motivated anti-wildlife slaughter right.

Chad guenter

Mr. Westemeier: Maybe those of us concerned with the inhumane cruel treatment of livestock on massive feedlots in YOUR state should start demanding they all be shut down. There is plenty of disgusting footage of sick, lame, diseased? animals suffering while waiting to be SLAUGHTERED. Who's going to jail for those crimes?

Chad guenter

Mmmmm Iowa pork. The hypocrisy is astounding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWDZCX8UMmQ

Jay Westemeier

The inhumane treatment of livestock and wildlife species are completely separate issues. You're grabbing at straws while trying to justify your position on one that clearly violated a law. Besides, I'm not a livestock producer. So, what exactly is your point?

Diane Henry

What’s really sad is anyone defending these so-called “hunters.” It was only a sadistic cruel sport ending with an execution of a mountain lion, cowering under a rock, already used for target practice. And in a National Park.

Chad guenter

Ms. Henry: These hunters only "crime" was killing the cat in YNP. For many hunting cougars with dogs is offensive, then dont watch or read about it. ""On May 3 a federal judge sentenced Peterson, Junhke and Simmons to uniform sentences for violating the Lacey Act.""" I see nowhere where "cruelty" to animals was ever a charge, or even a State charge hunting related.

Diane Henry

I would bet the judge considered all the actions (including cruelty) of these “hunters” when he decided sentence. If we all look the other way, these crimes continue. You say you want your competition for food controlled (by killing predators)—how about we control poachers who are taking your food with more strict penalties. Poaching is more widespread than we know and the numbers of illegally taken wildlife would astound us.

Tony Rutherford

Bev Smith, we must have read different articles? These young men, by all accounts, grew up just miles from the park? The area they hunted was only a handful of miles from the park boundary. I seriously doubt these three are novice hunters, based on what the photograph illustrates? I'd suspect this isn't there first hunt in this area, nor the first time their chase carried over onto park property? I believe the tracking collar system they used would have a chase history stored....why wasn't this shared? It would provide the location of the first treeing. It would provide them with their location as well. They mentioned that they saw the park boundary markers, but their accounts are conflicting.....so they knew they were in violation. These three should have made a decision once the cat was first treed to kill it, or just video tape the event, post all over the internet, before mt. lion hunting heros, and call it a great hunt.....but they lacked the discipline to do so. They wanted to hear more chasing....so they dislodged the cat and the chase was continued. There was no chance of the hounds losing the track at this point, unless the cat swam a big enough body of water. If the first treeing took place on permitted property......good for the hunters. But they knew the risk that the chase would carry onto park property when the decision was made to force the cat unto the ground and continue the pursuit......"a fatal error". This hunt is surrounded by knowledge, intent, and deceit. The fines were extremely light, and three years of probation without have to check in.....was even lighter. No confiscation of firearms....why? If they didn't know they were in violation, why did they lie about almost every aspect of the event?

Tony Rutherford

Bev Smith if you read the transcript of Mr. Peterson's interview......he states that this lion is one he would definitely go into the park for. One of the hunters is a guide, and one likely a Montana state employee......based on his Montana.gov e-mail address? So....based on Peterson's own statement.....boundary markers wouldn't deter him on this lion anyway. The investigator called bull feathers on them not knowing that the markers were the park boundary. These were hunters that had plenty of time and opportunity to do the right thing, and they chose not to. Peterson's buddy, who owned one of the dogs, told him be phone or text, to let him know when he got close to the park. Everyone should read the full investigative report.

Diane Henry

Yes, everyone should read the interviews with the 3 hunters...Very disturbing. They are lucky if they received the misdemeanor version of the Lacey Act; I think lying to a federal investigator is a felony. Montana game wardens are perhaps too accommodating to the locals who can just “call themselves in” about an infraction, and get excused. One of the hunters said they made a decision to kill the lion but “wanted to play with him a little more before...” ( it was hours and at least 6 bullets later). One interviewer asked one of the hunters (when the lion was mortally wounded under a rock) “what’d you do when you saw it sitting there growling at you and you didn’t have your pistol on ya?” Answer: “I screamed like a little girl.” —about says it all

Jay Westemeier

And based on the results of those interviews, knowledge, intent and deceit, it's very clear that they definitely are considered to be poachers. I fault judges who continue to circumvent justice by issuing lax sentences for this type of offense. It not only lacks adequate deterrent for other potential law breakers, but also encourages the wrath of a large part of the general public. Judgements like this don't do anyone any good.

Tony Rutherford

If they had made a decision to kill the lion at the first treeing......I'd argue strongly on their behalf. But once they forced the cat unto the ground I lost any ability to defend their actions. My understanding of the meaning poacher is one who takes game or fish unlawfully, or on the property of another without legal access? These three fit the definition of poacher.....plain and simple.

Diane Henry

I looked through the posts and don’t see anyone saying that hunting should be banned. I think it should be regulated, legal, and carry stronger penalties for transgressions. I want to see our magnificent native species survive. Maybe I’m one of the ‘self righteous mudslingers.’ I’ve been a hunter, but have only taken deer for food, not trophy. I’ve seen all the best and worst hunters. For me, it is really hard to stop the beating heart of any animal — Anyone who has had to put down a beloved dog knows this pain. I think I saw a statement that hunters ‘have more skin in the game so to speak’ and I totally do not understand. Because you pay for a hunting license? All of our tax dollars go to US Fish and Wildlife Service. We should all have a say in what happens to our National treasures.

Ken Chison

Diane. Do a Google search of the Pittman- Robertson act of 1937. That is probably in reference to the statement you quoted.

Dan Howe

All hunters are not the same. Isn't that the truth? Most are conscientious and safety minded. I don't need to describe the others. Every group has members that everyone wishes would just go away.

Rob Gates

It's clear all the folks attacking these guys dont know them and know little about the culture of hunting in Montana. I know this area around Jardine very well, the good folks from MT that hunt it and the wardens that protect it. They made a mistake by continuing the hunt into the park. If they would have pulled up called the warden he would have helped them get their dogs gathered up and no crime. Even at the point where they shot if they would have thought it thru called the Warden explained their mistake it likely would have been just a fine. I have had antelope after being legally shot run onto posted property. You stop call the Warden call the owner explain the event everyone goes home happy. Let's hope these guys learned a life lesson well the measured response from the local MT authorities was designed to do exactly that.

Donald Sytsma

In my opinion this is a lousy piece of journalism. There are a lot of detail left out that should have been included. First off - did the men have the proper hunting licenses/tag/permits to hunt mountain lions? I would assume yes since it is not mentioned in the story. Second, was this a first offense? Judging by the sentencing of the 3 I am going to say yes. I base this on knowing several Game Wardens and know that repeat offenders do not get off very easily. Now we have to look at this story for what it is and isn't. First of all if the men had the proper tags there is only one crime here and that is shooting the mountain lion in a national park. The hunt started on MT land - legally. Everything was legal till they shot the mountain lion inside Yellowstone boundaries. So the rest of this mudslinging is just self-righteous nonsense. The men were caught and justice was served. They probably could have been dealt a more serious sentence if National Park Services wanted to get involved more. My guess is the MT game warden and someone inside the National Park service had a discussion and made a plan from there. If you dont like hunting - dont hunt. Mountain lions are magnificent creatures but left unchecked can cause serious damage and harm. Yes some of the problem is too many people but I dont see people volunteering to "take themselves out" for the sake of wildlife!! (Nor am I recommending it). Hunting is a way of life in the west. If you dont like PLEASE stay in one of your left coast states, we dont need or want you here.

Jay Westemeier

You're somewhat right about one thing in your post Mr. Sytsma, the mudslinging is opinionated. I'm sure that most people who don't enjoy hunting don't hunt, unless they're one of those who caves into peer pressure to do so. I'm sure that is rampant in your part of the country because of your belief that "hunting is a way of life in the West". Hunting will never deter people from moving to one of the mountain west states. It's non inclusive attitudes like yours that will keep them away. I'm referring to the last sentence in your post.

Donald Sytsma

My only issue with those moving to the west is when they start telling those of us who hunt that we are somehow subhuman and nature haters, etc. I unfortunately have to admit there are hunters out there that I am ashamed to be "associated" with and give the general hunting community a bad name but that can be said about any activity - even family sometimes!! lol The states (at the state level/Game and Fish) and NGO here in the west put A LOT of time and money making sure ALL wildlife is managed acceptably. As a hunter I don't want to see all wildlife wiped out - like many seem to insinuate. In fact my wife, daughter and I just came back from Yellowstone. We enjoy nature as much as anyone else. We all hunt as well. We hunt for food and to give me an added reason to get outdoors. We also will take others out hunting if they want to try the experience. They find it is much different that what it looks like on TV. I think that groups that are non-hunting conservation groups should step back a little and realize that the bigger threat to everyone enjoying the great outdoors is depletion of wild land and join the hunting groups to keep more of it wild and free.

Angie Savage

Jay you are my personal hero. I agree with all your responses.

Tony Rutherford

Donald Sytsma I agree that the article leaves a lot of detail out. But I strongly disagree with your statement...."there is only one crime here, and that's shooting the mountain lion in a national park". Although the article lacks detail, it's fairly easy to recognize a multitude of crimes and violations: 1) trespassing 3 counts 2) hunt without proper permission 3 counts 3) continue to pursue game with hounds on prohibited lands 3 counts 4) hunt outside of designated seasons 3 counts 5) exceed the daily bag limit for a species 3 counts 6) unlawful discharge of a firearm 8 counts 7) providing false information to law enforcement officials during the investigation of a crime multiple counts 8) falsify the location of a kill while registering 1 or more counts 9) unlawful transportation of a wild animal 3 counts? You won't find too many people more supportive of hunting, or hunting with hounds. These three men made choices, poor choices, and they should have to pay for those choices. $5,000 total restitution and three years probation might be reasonable if they lacked knowledge that what they were doing was unlawful......but I'm convinced by the lies they all told that each knew what they were doing was criminal. The fines should have been higher, and there should have been jail time attached to any probation violation. That's the opinion of a person who's hunted for five decades. I'm proud for the hunting community that a responsible houndsman blew the whistle on these three.

Donald Sytsma

I appreciate your response. My quote "there is only one crime...." was more of an abbreviation than detailed out. I guess I will restate - that it was all legal till they crossed into Yellowstone. I get your point on the judgement - my only thought on that is I don't know what the Game Warden and the judge knew as far as past offenses. They should feel fortunate they only got what they did and I hope they did learn a lesson. Only time will tell.

Tony Rutherford

Thanks for the response and the civil exchange. I suspect there may have been violations prior to crossing the park boundary? I would hope that in every state it would be unlawful to dislodge any treed or denned wildlife for the purpose of continuing the chase? So, if that were the case, essentially every action taken after the cat was kicked out of the tree was a violation? A small percentage of the general population hunts......I believe less than 5%? Somewhere around 80% of the population supports hunting. When we adds dogs into the conversation, that support is much lower. Hunting with hounds will likely be the first hunting privilege we'll see leave us. I believe California banned hound hunting for bears and cougars recently? So when houndsman do what these three did......and it goes viral because of the close proximity to Yellowstone, combined with the species I recognize the true threat this poses to hunting access. Quite honestly, the restitution should have been $5,000 each at a minimum, along with fines for every violation. Not only to teach these young men a lesson, but to let the entire hunting community, and especially, the hound hunting community the severity of violation.

Rob Gates

For a five decade hunter it's amazing how many Montana hunting regs you have wrong. Addressing each of your 9 "violations" for 1) there was no trespass they were in hunting district 313 Jardine legal to hunt there done so many times crossing into the park is not trespass its public lands open to all. 2) you dont need permission from anyone to hunt on public land. 3) you can pursue into closed areas but you have to call the Warden first. This was their first mistake. In MT the wardens are friendly they will help. 4) they were hunting in season no violation here. 5) did not exceed the bag limit they killed one the season quota in 313 is 5. 6) you are allowed to discharge a firearm while hunting they were in the park but still in MT were local law still applies to those who can legally carry. You can carry in the Park but can only discharge if your in danger. 7) your first correct violation but the Warden did the right thing working with them to bring out the truth. 8) filled the form out incorrectly minor relative to the kill inside the Park and hoping to get away with it. 9) for an animal taken in a closed area MT allows field dressing while waiting for the Warden who they should have called see above. Agree they should not have moved it. They caped it properly skull and hide MT regs designate cats as non food game you dont have to take the carcass. I agree these guys broke the regs and in a way that was not sporting. But the measured response of the Warden was correct. The Wardens know the local hunters interact all the time. They are a team the Wardens want the locals to do the right thing and will work with them to make it happen. It's a long tradition and part of the culture of excellence in game management in MT. Lay the hammer down and in 5 to 10 when they get out you will have an angry hunter out for revenge likely to shoot shovel and shut up. That is not what MT wants far more productive to build solid allies in the field.

Tony Rutherford

Rob Gates, thanks for bringing all my errors to my attention. I hope you'll be kind enough to clarify for me my misunderstandings? Perhaps I wasn't clear in my post? It was my intention to convey that once these men crossed the park boundary the game completely changed? 1) I agree that the park is public and open to all, but I believe there are entrance fees, even on foot? But once the hunt crossed the boundary, and they chose to continue the chase it escalated from lawful entry to trespass, or perhaps unlawful entry? 2) we have a few million acres of national forest, state forest, and wildlife management lands here in VA. For each you pay a fee, which represents the permission required to hunt these lands. We don't have BLM lands, or school fund lands here. But to enter and hunt these public lands without the proper permits would be a trespass violation. I assume the same would be true in MT? 3) We have friendly wardens here in VA, and the hunting tradition is very strong. We can actually go onto another person's land to retrieve our hounds....and we don't have to ask for permission. We can't carry, nor can we hunt, but we can retrieve on foot without asking first. They continue to pursued, and I'm fully confident they knew where they were, and knew they were in violation.....but never checked up. Once they decided to make the kill on park land, it made the entire chase unlawful. 4) Correct me if I'm wrong.....but Yellowstone has a continuous closed season for mountain lion? So any hunting of mountain lion in Yellowstone would be hunting during closed season, and a violation? 5) Since Yellowstone has no mountain lion season, any kill would have exceeded the daily bag limit, as well as the annual bag limit? 6) Perhaps they could prove they were in danger when they discharged their firearms.....but that's doubtful? 8 counts of unlawful discharge would seem to be reasonable? 7) Lying to a law enforcement official.....unlawful everywhere. 8) Kill registration violation......unlawful in all 50 states. 9) ? 10) Their unlawful kill because of quotas disallowed another hunter, perhaps a kid from access.....not sure if that's a violation.....but it should be. I only suggested jail time for probation violations. Make an example out of these young men. Make the fines high enough that others will think twice. The hound community is very well connected.....and the example that's been set here is that it may be worth the risk to hunt on national park land......which is not what the hunting community, or the hound hunting community needs.

Angie Savage

Donald, I realize I may have a love for animals and that I may not understand the "sportsmanship" in killing an animal. And I also am not ignorant to the fact of why people hunt and why it is allowed. That said, I am an animal lover FROM UTAH. The northern part. Not California, Not Oregon etc. One of the BIGGEST red states in this Nation. So please don't assume you know anything about the people who don't understand hunting. Hunting is a HUGE part of many Utah residents life. But I take offense to you assuming we are all Democrats. I was raised by two of the BIGGEST right sided Republicans you'll ever meet. And while I don't have a dog in the political race, my dad was not a hunter. And it's not a matter of "not liking hunting" it goes against everything in my soul, to hurt anything that breathes. And if you are incapable of understanding that. then I can respect that. But don't try to project your ignorance, onto people that are not like you. And I'm sorry but I don't buy the "oh our GPS malfunctioned and we didn't realize where we were". Maybe me being from Utah, wouldn't realize I was in Yellowstone. But someone from small rural areas, surrounding Yellowstone would and do know where they are. And you can tell by their mighty proud faces, that they didn't have a care in the world. And one more thing, I have a VERY IRRATIONAL FEAR of mountain lions. But I think they are absolutely beautiful animals. And it makes me sad, that this beautiful tomcat, was killed the way he was. So these young men, could take a skull and a stupid arrogant picture. I'm sorry if you cannot understand that. The laws are laws for a reason. And kudos to the hunters that follow them. And I believe you and I, will have to agree to disagree. I wish you good day.

Donald Sytsma

I am glad we live in a country that we can agree to disagree. Hunting isn't for everyone - I do understand that. I have a motto for myself -"I hunt so I can go on an adventure". I know others who go on an adventure to hunt. I'm not saying they are wrong but I find it a different mental approach to the outdoors than mine. I want everyone to be able to enjoy the outdoors. I only have the problem when they want to crucify every hunter/ban hunting because they don't like it. I don't like a lot of things but would never think of trying to ban them. I get hunting is a different level than most but at the same time most of the hunters I know and especially the ones I hang around with appreciate and respect nature far more than the average person. I feel as a hunter we have a little more skin in the game so to speak. As much as I dislike this story I hope it does serve a purpose to all in the outdoors - respect the laws and nature - because most likely someone is watching whether you know it or not and the consequences can go far beyond yourself. I wish you a wonderful day as well.

Angie Savage

Donald, it seems like you are in the group of hunters who follow the rules. And that I can absolutely respect. While I'll never understand the allure of hunting. I realize that many do it to feed their families, they make things out of the deer, elk and moose antlers, their fur and you know who am I to say it is wrong? Just because I don't agree with it, doesn't mean that I'm right. And if they banned hunting, those poor animals would die of starvation and people hitting them with their cars. And who knows what else? I'm sure the wildlife service, has figured how many people can take. And while it goes against my ethical beliefs. I'm not going to look down on and judge people, who do it in the right and ethical way, following the laws.

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Chad guenter

Fake name and creative profanity is apparently Kosher with JHNG if you hold the proper political views.

Diane Henry

There is no animal on this planet that “hates” — they don’t have that emotion —wolves, bears, coyotes, m lions only want to survive. Unfortunately, humans get to determine what animals are allowed to survive in this world and heaven help us if the future is in the hands of any outlaws like these. They are a disgrace to humanity.

William Huard

This is an example of predator hating culture. In Wyoming, people have a stunning contempt for wildlife and wild nature. It is legal to run over coyotes with snowmobiles or kill Wolf pups in their dens. Heck, people shoot wolves while they are feeding on elk and the “hunters” display the dead wolf on top of an SUV with blood dripping down the side. It is no wonder why predator hunters give hunting a bad name and show the hunting culture for what it is- bloodthirsty

Chad guenter

Predator hating Mr. Huard? I love my fellow human predators. Wolves hate bears and vice versa, do they not?? Wolves hate coyotes and vice versa do they not?? You and the others in the human hater camp deny Man's place in nature.

William Huard

Chad Did you even read this awful story? 3 degenerates who masquerade as hunters torture and kill a cougar while it is cowering under a rock in a protected National Park and your response is to post a few links about where hound hunting is banned? What is the sense in that? I mean, we realize you folks in Wyoming think you do a great job “killing” predators to protect cows and trophy elk. Do you think these fine young men deserved to lose their “huntin” privileges? The disconnect is STUNNING

Chad guenter

Killing predators protects ALL elk not "trophy elk". I hunt elk for food, I have never "trophy" hunted. You and the others so outraged are the "disconnected", none of you can ever admit that man IS a part of the natural world. I, as a human being living with/in nature want my competition for FOOD controlled.

Jay Westemeier

You're wasting your breath William. The two mainstays on this site consider themselves the poster boys for predator hunting. They'll defend law breaking degenerates with passion because they believe they're part of a privileged good old boy club that's under attack by the rest of America. I think they defend these kinds of sadistic actions purely out of spite while hiding behind a keyboard.

Jay Westemeier

"I, as a human being living with/in nature want my competition for FOOD controlled". This has to be one of your all-time biggest shams. Every living creature on earth competes for food in one way or another. I'm starting to think that it might be true that consuming CWD infected or too much elk, actually does affect the human brain.

William Huard

Must be cow poop in the water. Predator hunters are the very bottom of the barrel, down there with hound hunters and trappers. These fellas probably participate in all 3. The GPS malfunctioned my As$

Chad guenter

Other recent stories from WA and CA. States that banned hound hunting. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/06/child-escapes-cougar-attack-in-washington-mostly-unscathed.html https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/05/29/suspected-mountain-lion-attack-injures-california-boy/

Gabe Utsecs

I see they got off nice and easy since their white. They should have been forced to become someone's girl friend in prison.

Chad guenter

Mr. Utsecs is not only apparently a racist but also a proponent for rape. THIS is the mentality of the eco-left.

Deidre Adams

This was not a HUNT - this was cruel sport for their amusement and I feel they should have had a much larger fine and loss of hunting privileges for the rest of their lives. They're not HUNTERS - tormenting, treeing a cat, shooting it 8 times is NOT HUNTING. Thank goodness a true hunter did the right thing and turned them into the authorities. I'm not a hunter; I don't understand how anyone in this day and age can kill wildlife, however, I'm not ignorant of population's that can get out of hand. When authorities apprehend these persons, the JUDGES MUST FOLLOW THROUGH WITH MUCH TOUGHER SENTENCES!!! If they don't, it will contnue to happen. Perhaps some EDUCATIONAL classes or working with wildlife preserves would be a plus.

Jim Olson

I would like to have the heads of these despicable cowards mounted and displayed on my wall!

Chad guenter

So having an animal you are pursuing cross an invisible border during the hunt to be killed on the wrong side warrants the Death Penalty????

Frank Papp

What a shame ,was the Judge doing a friend of a friend a favor ? I wonder !

Tony Rutherford

$5,000 restitution for a mountain lion seems mighty slim? Seems like the fines for the multiple charges could have and should have been stacked? Three years unsupervised probation, and the loss for three years of hunting privileges will, in all likelihood, be more than they can handle? One, or more of these guys will mess up before the three years is up. If the hounds were owned by one or more of these young men......they'll certainly have to get rid of them, or the temptation to run them will probably get the best of them? Having to get rid of the hounds will be tougher than making restitution or behaving for three years. Sort of ironic that another (responsible houndsman) blew the whistle on these dudes. Good for him!

debbie merrill

First these are not "kids" so stop calling them that. They are adult MEN who clearly by this age know the difference between right and wrong. Second, they are not "Hunters". They are not eating what they kill but engaging in sport slaughter by using dogs with tracking collars to simply chase down and tree a cat so they can shoot it off a branch. Not a whole lot of "hunting" skill involved here. I am not anti hunting, but find this type of trophy killing distasteful and never does it seem to have a penalty harsh enough to deter others.

Jay Westemeier

The cat was reportedly treed by dogs and shot eight times. These guys would be ridiculed to death by most ethical fair chase hunting organizations. How could these three be proud of such lousy marksmanship and judgement? Fines for this kind of offense need to be at least $10,000. Until then, there is no real deterrent for attention addicts like these.

Tiffany Roberts

These boys should have been done just like that cat you say you want to hunt a big game at hunt the biggest of them all come after man let's go hand-to-hand with no weapons with no weapons like that poor cat it didn't have a gun they took the skull of that cat that's a trophy kill it wasn't for food to eat or anything like that it was just them being sorry and wasteful and hurting animals people like that need to be took out in the woods and done just like the animal that they did that too that's just that would be real Justice let the cat hunt them

L. Tatum

Suffice it to say, this lion could have mauled these kids easily in a fair fight. Don't take me wrong.. . I understand their youth and hubris as well as anyone. Shaking the cat out if the tree for a greater chase just seems cruel. Too bad the kids couldn't have been sentenced to repeated hunter education courses and forced to teach them as well. And volunteer at an animal shelter perhaps. I am not against hunting, btw, but glad social media managed to do some good for once thx to some eagle-eyed Good Samaritans.

Tiffany Roberts

They shot it with the 45 is that a hunting rifle last time I checked they were personal protection gun rifles are for hunting I thought are bow and arrow what the cat do tried to do a drive-by on the house are break-in everybody talking about the poor kid what about the poor cat was the cat wearing red or blue Bloods

Angie Savage

I'm not from this area, nor am I a hunter or will have anything to do with it. However, I realize due to population control, hunting of certain animals are allowed. And I also understand that some people use the WHOLE animal, or at least the meat. Which to me, means the animal didn't die for nothing. All that said, i do not mean any disrespect to what I'm going to say. Especially to hunters, who follow the rules. This is just one person's opinion. But I will never understand how anyone can take pleasure in taking the life of any living thing. Whether it be a human or an animal. Listening to the way this animal died and knowing it shouldn't have happened, is very sad. And I agree with everyone else, that these kids got off light. I feel they knew darn well what they were doing and where they were. I bet you the mountain lion knew if it ran into Yellowstone, they'd have to back off. I've heard that animals are smart when it comes to hunting season. Anyway, I'm glad they had their hunting privileges revoked and I hope they've learned a lesson. But I believe they should have been given a harder sentence.

Lanny Lammers

Just awful how they got off with low Restitution & no jail time like some white collar criminals! This should be at least $10, 000 each and 2 years in prison with 5 years Supervised Parole upon release to SEND A MESSAGE to abide by laws !

Ed Loosli

"Special agent Olson tried to impart some lessons during his interview with Simmons, too. The violation, he told the young hunter, is a “huge, huge crime.â€.....If it is such a "huge, huge crime" why were these criminals only given a slap-on-the-wrist three years of unsupervised probation? Justice has not been served in this case and the judge should be embarrassed and ashamed.

dave sundquist

absolute cowards ! this is hunting ? using a radioed dog to tree an animal anf then shoot. wow ! the sportsmanship ! must take at least a 40 IQ !

Diane Henry

Cowards, idiots, liars, and thieves....should also get jail time.

Angie Savage

Agreed! I'm glad that hunters who follow the laws, alerted the game warden to them. These kids were old enough to know the laws. And they both look mighty proud of themselves in the picture. And they were proud enough to post their picture. I'm glad their arrogance got them caught.

Chad guenter

Mr. Sundquist, in CA., OR. and WA. the use of dogs in Mtn. Lion hunting has been prohibited. Now big cats are shot in towns and neighborhoods because of over population pushing cats into places they would normally stay away from. Hound hunting is the only reliable method to hunt and more importantly control lion populations.

Jay Westemeier

"Overpopulation" is a subjective term most often used by hunters and livestock producers. If one predator happens to wander into a residential neighborhood, some hysterical person screams for blood action and the hunters use it as justification to come to their rescue. It's a charade that's been played for ages.

Chad guenter

Mr. Westemeier: The States I mentioned have serious problems with mountain lions in suburban neighborhoods and even city centers. Look it up yourself. Here is one example from where I have family. IN TOWN https://mailtribune.com/news/top-stories/police-kill-cougar-seen-roaming-around-medford

Serengeti Lion

To Chad. Pay attention: even if thats true the reasoning for that is not because there's one too many mountain lions around, it's because there's a hella lot too many of humans around..

Chad guenter

Mr. "Lion": You must not have read JHNG's rules for posting. Apparently they dont care if you break them,

Jay Westemeier

Just like Wyoming, the states you mentioned made their own beds and some residents can't handle the wrinkles. You guys want to live close to wilderness but refuse to accept the ramifications of doing so. Are you afraid to walk out into your back yard? If so, how is your life any different than living in places like Chicago? Living your days in fear and believing that a gun will solve all of your problems is not my idea of a happy life.

Ken Chison

Chad. You are my personal hero. I agree with all that you write. Another child attacked by a lion yesterday, in California. As usual. The lion was killed. Another wildlife death, all brought to you by the anti hunters. Must be a slow time of year at the toy factory. Sure a lot of expertise from people living hundreds of miles away. I don't condone these actions, by a select few, but all groups have them. Be it mountain bikers, mountaineers, backpackers, kayakers and hunters. There will always be that select few that crave the attention social media brings. And with the attention will come the criticking from those opposed to their actions.

Jay Westemeier

The phantom cowboy wannabe makes another one of his confrontational statements from behind the safety of his keyboard. I guess you think that’s superior to someone commenting hundreds of miles away from you. You claim that you don’t condone these actions but it’s obvious that you can’t stand the people you’re actually agreeing with just because they despise trophy hunting.

Jay Westemeier

The self professed trophy hunter obviously has an inferiority complex.

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