Conserving the Nature of America

News Release

Eastern Idaho Men Sentenced in Grizzly Bear Killing

April 12, 2006

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An Park man who killed a grizzly bear cub, and a St. Anthony man who destroyed a radio collar worn by the cub's mother, were sentenced this morning in federal court in Pocatello, U.S. Attorney Tom Moss announced. The sow had been killed the day before by a third man, Moss said.

Tim Brown will serve three months in prison for killing the cub, and pay a fine of $1000 and restitution of $19,300. Brad Hoopes will serve two months and pay a $500 fine and $500 in restitution for destroying the collar. Both men also lost their hunting privileges for two years.

The restitution will go to the Yellowstone Association, a private organization that collects and disburses funds to the Interagency Grizzly Bear Team. The Team is made up of state and federal wildlife agencies in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.

In sentencing the men, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill made a finding that the yearling grizzly was not shot in self-defense, as they claimed.

The incident occurred in the Sawtelle Peak area on September 23, 2002. The grizzly bear is listed as protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Kentucky bow hunter Dan Walters pled guilty in January 2005 to killing the cub's mother. He was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution and had his hunting privileges revoked for two years.

The seven-year-old sow shot by Walters, bear F364, was radio collared in the fall of 1999. She gave birth to the female cub in the spring of 2001, her first successful attempt to raise offspring. The two bears routinely traveled between Yellowstone National Park and the Sawtelle peak area in Idaho. Neither had been involved in any human encounters.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, with the assistance of the U.S. Forest Service.

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