Hunting Guide Illegally Baited Bear for Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr. shot and killed a bear in Utah in 2018 that was illegally baited by a hired guide, the Salt Lake Tribune reported on Saturday.
According to the Tribune, the guide, Wade Lemon, faces five years in state prison. Trump Jr. has not been charged in connection to the May 2018 hunt, and officials do not think he was aware of the illegal baiting.
“Without naming Trump Jr., Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said the hunter in the case ‘was actually a victim and a now a possible witness in a fraudulent scheme to lead the hunter to believe it was actually a legitimate Wild West hunting situation,”” the Tribune reported.
During the hunt, Trump Jr. killed a cougar and a bear, the latter of which authorities believe was illegally baited by Lemon.
The Tribune reported that court documents revealed that the illegal bait allegedly consisted of “a pile of grain, oil and pastries” and was found next to a trail camera with Lemon’s phone number and “WLH” (for Wade Lemon Hunting) written on its side. Another document cited by the Tribune showed that an employee confirmed Lemon instructed him to place the bait several weeks ahead of the hunt.
Lemon’s hunting business has been investigated multiples times for allegedly breaking the law to ensure successful hunts, but the charges brought against him for Trump Jr.’s hunt mark the first time Lemon was charged with a felony, per the Tribune.
Trump Jr. has called hunting a “passion” of his and told Breitbart in a 2016 interview that “the discipline, the good times, the bond that I’ve had in a hunting camp, around a campfire, on a shooting range, all of those things as well as the discipline and patience it takes to become a competitive shooter, those are all values I want to pass on to my kids.”
Trump Jr.’s hunting activities have sparked controversy in the past, including his hunting of rare sheep in Mongolia that reportedly cost taxpayers $75,000 and a decade-old photograph from a hunting trip in Zimbabwe of him next to a dead elephant and holding its severed tail. (Trump Jr. defended that hunt to a Forbes contributor, arguing that elephants were overpopulated in that region and cutting off the tail was traditional).
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