Thomas E. Moss, DOJ, United States Attorney, (208) 334-1211
Terry L. Derden, DOJ, First Assistant U. S. Attorney, (208) 334-1211
Marc Haws, DOJ, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, (208) 334-1211
George Breitsameter, DOJ, Assistant U.S. Attorney, (208) 334-1211
Craig Tabor, USFWS, Resident Agent in Charge, (208) 378-5333
A Kentucky bow hunter has pled guilty to a misdemeanor and will pay restitution of $15,000 for illegally killing a female grizzly bear in the Island Park area in September 2002.
Dan Walters, 46, of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, entered his plea yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Larry M. Boyle in federal court in Pocatello. In addition to the restitution, Walters will be prohibited from hunting for two years.
Walters and two friends were hunting in the Sawtelle area when Walters encountered two bears, one larger than the other. Believing they were black bears, he shot the larger one in the right hind quarter, then tracked the two briefly before returning to his truck. The next day, Walters and three other men found the dead grizzly and discovered it was wearing a tracking collar. Walters admitted that he removed his arrow from the bear and buried it.
The 300-pound 7-year-old sow was a pioneer bear important to the repopulation effort in the Idaho portion of the Yellowstone Recovery Zone. She was collared in the fall of 1999, and monitoring since then showed that she routinely traveled between Yellowstone and the Sawtelle Peak area.
The grizzly bear is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act and is protected from illegal take.
U.S. Attorney Tom Moss commended the joint investigation by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game.