Father and Son Face Jail Time, Serious Hunting Bans After Covering Up an Illegal Grizzly Bear Killing

by Amy Myers
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Idaho has convicted a father-son duo that was responsible for the poaching and covering up the killing of a collared grizzly bear. As a result, the pair received hunting bans as well as some hefty fines.

On April 9, 2021, Idaho Fish and Game (IFG) officials responded to a mortality signal that was emitted when someone shot the grizzly bear. Officers found the sow’s carcass half-submerged in water. Later, an initial examination revealed that the bear’s remains had 12 bullets and one bullet fragment in it. Upon further investigation, the team found the bear’s den and discovered that a male cub had died because of the sow’s absence.

Oddly enough, the department enlisted the help of Google to find the culprits. The IFG sent a warrant to the search engine site to find out whose electric devices, like phones, were in the area at the time of the sow’s death. That’s how they came across Jared Baum. Once they had a name, they visited the Ashton home of Jared and Rex Baum where they discovered what exactly happened to the grizzly bear.

“On Nov. 8, 2021 Fish and Game Officers interviewed Jared Baum at his residence where he admitted to shooting the bear, but said it was a case of mistaken identity, and that he thought it was a black bear, although no black bear season was open in the area at the time,” the IFG explained in its report. “Jared then told officers that he had tracked the bear and thought he had shot it 40 times as it was running downstream towards the Little Warm River. After Jared saw that it was a grizzly, he said he realized he had shot her too many times and she was going to die, so he finished her.”

Son Responsible for Killing Grizzly Bear Receives Lifetime Hunting Ban, $12,500 Fine and Jail Time

Later in the investigation, Jared admitted that his father, Rex, also participated in the poaching. Along with killing the grizzly bear, the Baums also disposed of their two Ruger-57 handguns in the water. A dive team later recovered the firearms and confirmed that the bullets matched the ones in the sow’s carcass.

Following the confession, the Baums entered a plea deal for their crimes. In the end, Jared, the main offender, received a felony sentence of “30 consecutive days in the Fremont County jail, three years of probation, two years fixed, and three years indeterminate sentence suspended.” Jared will have to pay $2,500 in fines plus court costs, $10,000 in civil penalties, and receive a lifetime hunting ban.

Meanwhile, Rex received the misdemeanor sentence of 180 days in jail, 177 suspended. He will serve three days in the Fremont County jail and pay $1,000 in fines plus court costs and $400 in civil penalties. Finally, Rex, too, will have a 10-year hunting ban for killing the collared grizzly bear.

Outsider.com