Three Men Sentenced for Illegally Hunting Mountain Lion in Yellowstone National Park

Three men who illegally hunted a mountain lion in Yellowstone National Park have been sentenced in federal court.

Austin Peterson and Trey Juhnke, both 20, and Corbin Simmons, 19, violated the Lacey Act on Dec. 12 when they shot and killed a male mountain lion, according a news release from the park.

The release, citing court documents, says the trio crossed a marked boundary in order to hunt their prey, and that all three admitted to shooting  the animal and carrying its carcass back to their car.

Peterson was sentenced Friday to three years of unsupervised probation, barring him from hunting, fishing and trapping. He was also ordered to pay $1,700 in restitution and fees, according to the release.

Juhnke and Simmons, meanwhile, were sentenced to unsupervised probation in April, and both were ordered to pay $1,667 in restitution, according to The Casper Star-Tribune.

All three pleaded guilty at prior court hearings earlier this year to violating the Lacey Act, according to the outlet, which prohibits hunting wildlife in Yellowstone.

“I would like to express a sincere thank you to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, law enforcement officers at Yellowstone National Park, the National Park Service Investigative Services Branch, and the US Attorney’s Office – District of Wyoming for being involved in this case,” Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger Pete Webster said in a statement.

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

According to the release, biologists estimate that 20-31 adult mountain lions live in the park’s northern range, where the big cat in this case was killed.

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