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MN - trapper fined for having a mounted Canada lynx

Iron Range trapper fined for having a mounted Canada lynx

Star Tribune
By PAUL WALSH
August 11, 2008

A 60-year-old man from the Iron Range was fined and put on two years of probation for possessing a mounted Canada lynx, a federally protected species.

Roderick R. Kottom, of Chisholm, was fined $1,500 by U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Raymond Erickson last week in Duluth.

Kottom, also known as Papa Fisher, was charged 18 months ago with two misdemeanor counts and found guilty in April during a bench trial of .unlawful possession of threatened wildlife.

According to court documents:

In December 2004, Kottom did in his possession a mounted Canada lynx that had been taken unlawfully in violation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Canada lynx has been listed since 2000 as a threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources began investigating Kottom in December 2003 after discovering an advertisement on a taxidermy Website by "Papa Fisher" offering animal pelts for sale.

During a search of Kottom's home, authorities seized the mounted cat.

Last year, the longtime trapper was found guilty of state charges of possession of a prohibited wild animal, misdemeanor failure to check traps/snares, petty misdemeanor failure to provide identification of traps/snares, and misdemeanor unlawful storage of protected wild animals.

State conservation officers had been tracking Kottom's activities since 2002. In 2004, conservation officers seized a number of fisher and pine marten pelts from his home.

Kottom was convicted of possession of a prohibited wild animal and received one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, two years' supervised probation, a $962 fine and surcharge, and $200 in restitution. Kottom also agreed to report as directed to probation authorities, remain law-abiding and be subject to random searches.

For the misdemeanor failure to check traps/snares, Kottom was fined $320. Hewas also fined $132 for petty-misdemeanor failure to provide identification of traps/snares and $362 for misdemeanor unlawful storage of protected wild animals.

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