In January, authorities with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) received a tip that two men, Dwain Robertson and Douglas Smith, had trespassed onto private property, in a region closed to mountain lion hunting, and had possession of the carcass of a juvenile mountain lion.
Investigation of the tip led the landowner and MFWP wardens to the carcass of a female lion at the killing site along with blood in the tracks of another juvenile lion that had wandered off but was never found due to severe winter conditions.
A warranted search of their properties produced sufficient evidence (including the carcass of a 1-year old lion) to charge the two men.
On February 3rd, Dwain Robertson, plead guilty and was fined $3,075 for attempting to take an over limit of mountain lions ($635), unlawful possession of a lion ($535), hunting during a closed season ($535) and two counts of trespass ($370). Robertson was also ordered to pay $1,000 restitution and had his hunting, trapping and fishing privileges revoked for 4 years.
Douglas Smith, plead guilty and was fined $605 for two counts of criminal trespass ($370) and driving off established roads ($235).
Smith plead not guilty to unlawful possession of a mountain lion. No trial date has been scheduled yet. If found guilty, Smith could be fined an additional $535 and loose his hunting, trapping and fishing privileges for two years.