Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2005

Man pleads guilty in bobcat trapping case

 6/2/2005 4:32:51 PM

The Associated Press

A man accused of violating rules on bobcat trapping has pleaded guilty to three federal misdemeanor charges.

Authorities say Rodney Wheaton of Belle Fourche had consigned bobcat pelts for sale in Montana. But federal law bans the shipment of illegally taken wildlife across state lines.

Wheaton agreed to forfeit 33 pelts seized by state officers after a 2003 investigation.

The state Game, Fish and Parks Department says Wheaton violated state regulations that include not checking his traps every two days, taking bobcats before the season and giving false information about when and where some of the cats were trapped.

The department decided to drop most of the state charges when federal wildlife officials became involved.

South Dakota has an annual trapping and hunting season for bobcats west of the Missouri River.

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