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WA: Grizzly killers lose hunting rights

January 13, 2010

Grizzly killers lose hunting rights

Two men who killed a grizzly bear in Pend Oreille County are prohibited from hunting for two years and will be on probation for five years, according to a plea deal approved this week.

Brandon D. Rodeback, 26, and Kurtis L. Cox, 30, of Moses Lake, killed the bear on Oct. 1, 2007, while hunting in a designated grizzly bear recovery zone near Ione.

They skinned and buried the bear in Moses Lake. A tip to authorities led to federal charges in July. The men pleaded guilty Monday to transporting wildlife against federal law, a misdemeanor.

In addition to probation and forfeiture of hunting rights, Rodeback and Cox will pay a $3,000 fine and $14,857 to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for endangered species recovery projects, according to court documents.

The bear was tagged with a radio transmitter and had been followed for the past 14 years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service called the bear's death "a set-back to state and federal efforts and protect this iconic species."

"With grizzly bear populations struggling to survive, every single bear is critical to the species' recovery," according to a prepared statement.

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