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3 GUILTY OF PARTICIPATING IN A `CANNED' COUGAR HUNT

Two Uintah Basin residents and a Wasatch County man have been convicted of participating in a "canned" cougar hunt.

Eighth Circuit Judge Lynn Payne last week found Jet Abegglen, 37, and George Kennedy Sr., 49, both of Roosevelt, and George Kennedy Jr., 27, Heber City, guilty of one misdemeanor count each for aiding and assisting unlawful possession of protected wildlife.Each defendant was fined $500 and ordered to pay $250 in restitution. The cougar hide was confiscated.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Ron Stewart said the crime occurred on Dec. 30, 1990, when conservation officer Jack Lytle was notified that a possible "canned" or "will call" cougar hunt was in process in Whiterocks Canyon north of Roosevelt. A canned hunt occurs when one party finds, corners and holds an animal and then brings in another party to take the animal, Stewart said.

When Lytle reached the area, he discovered that Abegglen and the elder Kennedy had treed a cougar and watched as the younger Kennedy shot the animal with a compound bow, Stewart said.

Abegglen and the elder Kennedy had legal pursuit permits but had treed the animal before contacting the younger Kennedy in Heber City.