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Father and son charged in death of mother grizzly bear

Crime Watch

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ST. ANTHONY — Prosecutors have charged a father and son for allegedly poaching a momma grizzly bear in Fremont County.

Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers discovered a dead mother grizzly bear shot several times near Little Warm River in April. Jared and Rex Baum of Ashton are charged with felony unlawful killing possessing or wasting wildlife for killing the grizzly bear.

Officers discovered the bear had 10 bullets inside. Fish and Game had monitored the bear and knew it had a den with a cub nearby. Fish and Game went to the den and found the dead cub. To build a better timeline, officers looked at a trail camera that showed the grizzly bear left the den on March 14 but did not return.

After the discovery, Fish and Game went to the media, announcing that five conservation organizations set up a $40,000 reward for information that led to the arrest and conviction of anyone connected to the bear’s killing.

In May, Idaho Fish and Game sent a warrant to Google to see whose electronic devices would be in the area of the dead bear around the time of the poaching. Data from Google showed a device belonging to Jared showed him in the area on March 16, and investigators went to speak to him.

RELATED | $40,000 reward offered for info about illegal shooting of momma grizzly bear

Investigators spoke with Jared in November, who said he shot the bear with a handgun that shoots 5.7×28mm bullets. The 5.7×28mm bullets were the same type of bullets found inside the bear and matched shell casings at the scene. Rex also told Fish and Game he also took shots at the bear.

The father and son had reportedly agreed not to talk about killing the bear.

Jared also told Fish and Game he saw the April news release announcing the reward for the bear’s killers. Jared said the day after reading the news release, he decided to destroy his father’s handgun used to kill the bear and threw it into a pond.

Investigators also said they discovered in April that Jared tried to sell ammunition matching that used in shooting the bear online.

The Baums were charged on Nov. 17 and issued summons to appear on Dec. 1. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22 at the Fremont County Courthouse.

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