Skunkcap Ordered to Pay $30,000 in Restitution for Shooting Three Grizzly Bears
GREAT FALLS - The United States Attorney’s Office announces that Everett Skunkcap, 75, of Browning, Montana, was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution for shooting three grizzly bears. U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston ordered that Skunkcap also be sentenced to six months jail, which was suspended on the condition that Skunkcap timely pay all restitution.
Skunkcap was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to one count of Taking a Threatened Species. In an Offer of Proof, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Weldon stated it would have proved that Skunkcap shot three grizzly bears. Specifically, Skunkcap saw the grizzly bears, grabbed a .300 Winchester rifle, and shot the first two immediately. The third grizzly bear ran away but returned an hour later. Skunkcap also shot the third bear because he claimed it was going to “raise hell” later that night.
When questioned about the shootings, Skunkcap admitted that he indeed shot the bears. He then asked investigators if he could have the grizzlies back when the investigation was complete. Skunkcap stated he was going to “tan them and put them on the wall [as a] souvenir for what [he] did.”
Five months prior to the shooting, Skunkcap told Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife Technicians that he shot a different grizzly bear last year, and, if any grizzlies were on his property, he would shoot them again. Skunkcap was instructed to call the office if there were bear management issues. Skunkcap responded that he would just shoot them anyway.
This case was investigated by the Fish and Wildlife Service and local law enforcement. All restitution payments are used to support law enforcement efforts toward investigating and prosecuting future wildlife crimes.