Father and Son Arrested for Killing Grizzly Bear and Cub Near Yellowstone National Park

Two Idaho men have been sentenced to jail time and banned from hunting for years after pleading guilty to poaching a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said in a press release that Rex Baum, 79, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection with the female grizzly’s death last year. He was ordered to serve 3 days in jail and was banned from hunting for a decade. Baum’s son, Jared Baum of Ashton, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and banned from hunting for life after pleading guilty to a felony in connection with the incident.

Fish and Game officers discovered the grizzly’s carcass on April 9, 2021 after the bear’s radio tracking collar signaled it had died, officials said. X-rays of the bear showed she had been shot more than a dozen times.

Conservation officers “also visited the sow’s known den site where they discovered a deceased male grizzly cub that perished as a result of the sow’s failure to return,” the agency said.

The agency contacted the two men after sending a warrant to Google for records of electronic devices that had been in the area around the time of the grizzly’s death.

Jared Baum admitted to shooting the bear, but said it was a case of mistaken identity, and that he thought it was a black bear, officials said. “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,” officials said.

After realizing that the grizzly bear was collared, Jared Baum told officers he disposed of the two handguns he and his father had used to kill the bear by tossing them in a pond, officials said. A dive team was unable to recover the guns. 

Idaho grizzlies are federally protected. Last month, Idaho Gov. Brad Little joined Montana and Wyoming governors in petitioning for the bears to be removed from Endangered Species Act protections.

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