Illegal Killing Of Mountain Lion Leads To Felony Conviction For Colorado Hunter

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced on Thursday, December 27, that a 35-year-old named Andrew Pashley from Evergreen, Colorado, has been convicted for the illegal sale of big-game wildlife as well as the illegal possession of a mountain lion, Fox News is reporting. The former is a class 6 felony, and Pashley pleaded guilty to both crimes on November 8.

Pashley has officially been sentenced to two years probation and is no longer allowed to hunt, fish, or trap animals. A future court hearing will determine if this is a lifelong ban. If so, the ban will be applicable in 48 states.

“Illegal and unethical actions like what Mr. Pashley participated in put a black eye on hunters, outfitters and houndsmen,” said CPW Wildlife Officer Joe Nicholson in a statement. “Pashley’s actions are those of a poacher, not a hunter, and it is good to bring somebody like Pashley to justice.”

CPW first caught wind of Pashley’s crimes in January, 2017, after a hunter brought in the body of a mountain lion to be inspected. Hunting a mountain lion is not illegal in Colorado under certain circumstances, but the animal must be brought in to be inspected after it is killed. It was later discovered that the man was lying about where the animal had been killed, and later admitted to knowing Pashley. Upon searching Pashley’s home, evidence of illegal activities was found.

“Wildlife officers conducted follow-up interviews and sorted through evidence to piece together the details of Pashley’s illegal outfitting operating, documenting numerous felony and misdemeanor wildlife crimes in Colorado,” read a news release regarding the situation.

In addition to his probation and having his hunting privileges revoked, Pashley must give up the money he earned through the illegal sale of wildlife, as well as all of the trucks and hunting equipment he used while committing these crimes.

“We investigate crimes like this both to protect the wildlife of the state, but also to protect the interests of legal and ethical hunters and outfitters in the state,” said Nicholson. “That is really important. We have a strong heritage in Colorado of hunting, fishing and trapping, that is what pays for wildlife conservation, but only when it is done right.”

As for the hunter who brought the illegal activities to CPW’s attention, he pleaded guilty to hunting on private property without permission, illegal possession of a mountain lion, and an illegal method of hunting. He was sentenced to one year supervised probation and is also forbidden from hunting for one year.