Skunkcap ordered to pay $30,000 for shooting 3 grizzly bears
Three Montana Grizzlies
GREAT FALLS -- Everett Skunkcap of Browning has been ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution for shooting three grizzly bears.
A press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office says that U.S. Magistrate Judge John Johnston ordered that Skunkcap also be sentenced to six months jail; the jail time was suspended on the condition that Skunkcap pay all restitution in a timely manner.
Skunkcap was sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of taking a threatened species.
In an Offer of Proof, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon stated that the prosecution would have proved that Skunkcap shot three grizzly bears.
Specifically, Skunkcap saw the grizzly bears, grabbed a .300 Winchester rifle, and shot the first two immediately.
The third grizzly bear ran away but returned an hour later. Skunkcap then shot the third bear because he claimed it was going to "raise hell" later that night.
When questioned about the shootings, Skunkcap admitted that he did shoot the bears.
He then asked investigators if he could have the grizzlies back when the investigation was complete; he said that he was going to "tan them and put them on the wall [as a] souvenir for what [he] did."
Five months before the shooting, Skunkcap told Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife officials that he shot a different grizzly bear last year, and that if any grizzlies were on his property, he would shoot them again.
Skunkcap was told to call the office if there were bear management issues; Skunkcap responded that he would just shoot them anyway.