Three men plead guilty to killing a mountain lion in Yellowstone

Three men plead guilty to killing a mountain lion in Yellowstone
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Three men who illegally hunted a mountain lion in Yellowstone National Park have been sentenced to fines and probation.

The park said in a press release on Wednesday that 20-year-old Austin Peterson was sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay $1,700 in restitution and fees after he and two other men admitted to illegally hunting a mountain lion across park boundary lines last December. 

As part of his probation, Peterson is banned from hunting, fishing and trapping anywhere in the world, Yellowstone said. 

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According to the park, Peterson’s accomplices, 19-year-old Corbin Simmons and 20-year-old Trey Juhnke, were handed similar sentences.

“Each hunter admitted to shooting the lion and transporting the carcass back to their vehicle. Simmons then falsely claimed to have harvested the animal north of the park boundary in Montana,” the park said. “This affected the state’s quota system by denying a legal hunter the opportunity to legally harvest a lion.”

Yellowstone Chief Ranger Pete Webster expressed his gratitude to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks law enforcement officers and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Wyoming for their involvement in the case in a statement.

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