A Michigan man pleaded guilty to illegally killing a cougar in Michigan, with an interesting piece to the story.
The Upper Peninsula was the scene of an unfolding story that involves a man, some guns, and a dead cougar.
MLive.com reports the story of DNR officials charging Troy Richard with illegally killing a cougar in Schoolcraft County, Michigan, where the animals are considered an endangered species. The hunter, Richard, believes he shot the cougar in defense of his father, who was being eyed by the cougar and was unarmed. Richard allegedly shot the cat through the window of his cabin, wounding it. He tracked it the next day, killing it with a .357 Magnum.
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A DNR investigation revealed little to no truth to the self defense claim, and that the cougar was poached, with its hide skinned and skull boiled, ready for mounting. Richard does not deny that he planned to use parts of the cougar, but one portion of the DNR’s claim has been disputed by the hunter.
The heart of the cougar is said to have been extracted, cooked and eaten by Richard, to which the DNR responded with confusion. While animal hearts are not uncommonly eaten as food, predator hearts are often contaminated with parasites.
A strange twist to an already strange hunting story, the cougar heart consumption is denied by Richard.
Accounts also state that Richard has ample opportunity to report the killing of the cougar to wildlife officials, and to admit the self-defense claim outright. That did not happen, for which Richard has said he is regretful.
The last recorded account of a cougar shot in Michigan dates back to 1906. Richard’s penalty for killing a cougar in Michigan includes 30 days in jail, over $5,000 in fines, 120 hours of community service, forfeiture of the .357 Magnum and his hunting privileges until 2016.
Do you think the hunter was acting in defense of his family member? Or is this a case of illegal poaching? Leave your opinion below.