Man fined for killing grizzly sow - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Man fined for killing grizzly sow

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CODY, Wyo. -

A Cody man has been fined more than $30,000 for killing a grizzly sow last spring. The U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release saying 57-year old Kenneth Stoner was also sentenced to 60 months probation. Stoner is also known as Kenneth Stone.

Stoner was sentenced in Federal District Court recently for the unlawful taking of a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Wyoming Game and Fish Cody Supervisor Dan Smith said Stoner killed what he thought was a black bear.

Smith explained, “There was a grizzly bear killed in May of last year by a bear hunter who was hunting black bears. He harvested that bear, brought it into the office to be checked in, which bear hunters do, and at that time was informed that it was a grizzly bear.  Grizzly bears were still on the Endangered Species list at that time, so we contacted the Fish and Wildlife Service and they took over the investigation at that time.”

The grizzly bear that Stoner killed had yearling cubs. Smith said those cubs were sent to a zoo in August.

He said, “Later on we started getting complaints from people about bears that were along the highway in Sunlight Basin. They were becoming more and more habituated to people.  And so for the safety of the bears, and the safety of people since they right along the highway. In cooperation with the Fish and Wildlife Service, again, we captured those bears. Those bears were place in a home at the Riverside Discovery Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.”

Smith said Stoner was allowed to buy a black bear hunting license, although he was a felon, because the Game and Fish Department didn’t know his true identity.  He was using an alias. Smith also said the Game and Fish Department did not know he wasn’t going to hunt with archery equipment, instead of a gun.

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