Utah hunting guide charged with ‘illegally’ baiting bear which Donald Trump Jr shot

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A Utah hunting guide has been charged with illegally baiting a wild bear shot by Donald Trump Jr during a hunt in the state, a report says (Instagram/donaldtrumpjr)
A Utah hunting guide has been charged with illegally baiting a wild bear shot by Donald Trump Jr during a hunt in the state, a report says (Instagram/donaldtrumpjr)

A hunting guide in Utah has been charged with illegally baiting a bear which was shot by Donald Trump Jr during a hunt in the state, a report says.

Wade Lemon faces five years behind bars if convicted over the May 2018 killing, and prosecutors say there is no evidence that the former president’s eldest son would have known about the alleged baiting.

Mr Trump is not named in court papers but his identity as the shooter was confirmed by the Utah Department of Natural Resources, according to The Utah Investigative Journalism Project and The Salt Lake City Tribune.

Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings also did not name Mr Trump, but said that the hunter in the case “was actually a victim and a now a possible witness in a fraudulent scheme to lead the hunter to believe it was actually a legitimate Wild West hunting situation”.

Mr Trump, who is a keen hunter, posted about the trip in question on social media.

“Lots of quality time in the woods hanging out at 10,000 feet. #outdoors #weekend #adventure #cabin #utah,” he wrote on Instagram on 19 May 2018, the day after the bear was killed.

Charging documents allege that Mr Lemon’s outfitters used illegal bait consisting of “a pile of grain, oil and pastries”, which was allegedly found with a trail camera pointed at it that had the initials WLH (Wade Lemon Hunting) pointed at it.

The court papers state that the camera allegedly had Mr Lemon’s phone number on it, and a subordinate told investigators that he was told by Mr Lemon to place the bait in that location several weeks before the hunt.

The documents also state that a witness identified Mr Lemon and his employees during the hunt, and identified Mr Lemon over radio traffic giving instructions to the employees.

Trump Jr had also been in Utah for the launch of hunting advocacy group Hunter Nation.

In 2019, he sparkled controversy when he and his son’s hunting trip to Mongolia cost the US taxpayer $75,000 . During the trip he shot a rare mountain sheep and met the country’s president, according to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

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