A male grizzly cub also died after poachers killed her mother, and the culprit has been sentenced.
An Idaho man has received a lifetime hunting ban after shooting a radio collared sow grizzly bear at least 12 times, fatally wounding her and orphaning her cub. The Idaho Fish and Game Department announced Jared Baum of Ashton will also be forced to pay $10,000 in civil penalties, $2,500 in fines and court costs, and will serve 30 days in a county jail.
The punishment stems back to a March 2021 case in Fremont County when researchers received a mortality signal from a sow grizzly bear's radio collar. Those researchers, along with members of Fish and Game and the Fremont County Sheriff's office, investigated. They found the bear's body in the Little Warm River. A closer examination revealed she had been shot multiple times. Because researchers had been following the bear's movements, they were able to investigate her den, only to find one of her male cubs had died due to the absence of his mother.
Authorities removed and X-rayed the body of the sow and discovered 12 bullets and one bullet fragment embedded inside. When news of the poaching got out, several conservation groups banded together and set up rewards totaling over $40,000 for information in the case. In the meantime, East Idaho News reports investigators got a warrant to obtain data from Google which provided information on electronic devices in the area at the time of the killing. This information is what put investigators on the tail of Baum.
According to the IDFG press release, game wardens finally interviewed Baum in November 2021. He admitted to shooting the bear, claiming he thought it was a black bear. It's worth noting that area did not have a black bear season running at the time. And as most know, grizzly bears are still federally protected.
Investigators also learned the weapons used were two Ruger 5.7 semi-auto pistols chambered in 5.7x28mm. Jared claimed he shot at it as many as 40 times as it was running away. The Ruger 5.7 holds 20 rounds in a standard-size magazine. He eventually finished the animal off and left it when he realized it was a collared grizzly. Baum also revealed his father Rex was involved in the incident. Rex Baum received three days in Fremont County jail, a $400 civil penalty, $1,000 in fines and court costs, and a 10-year loss of his hunting privileges.
Baum admitted he eventually saw the original IDFG press release asking for leads in the case and he told investigators he decided to throw the two handguns in a pond to hide the evidence. A search of the pond for the firearms came up empty. Both men took a plea deal in the case.
Because Idaho is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact, both father and son will also lose their hunting privileges in the 48 member states.
For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels.
READ MORE: 5 MORE OF THE BIGGEST PUNISHMENTS EVER HANDED TO POACHERS