An arraignment is set for 1:30 p.m. March 10 for Scott Bidegain on the charges related to the illegal killing of a cougar.
The charges caused Bidegain to resign as chair of the New Mexico Game Commission.
Bidegain’s arraignment is in Quay County Magistrate Court before Judge Joel Garnett.
A complaint filed in Quay County Magistrate Court on Feb. 17 alleges Bidegain did “unlawfully counsel, aid or abet in the killing of a cougar that was pursued by dogs without the licensed hunter being present continuously from the initial release of the dogs.”
It is a misdemeanor to “release dogs with the intent to pursue or hunt bears or cougars unless the hunter is present from the initial release of the dogs,” according to state statute.
The complaint was signed by Sgt. Ty Jackson, district supervisor for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in Las Vegas.
An Associated Press story said Bidegain was with at least four other men Feb. 9 on his family’s T4 Cattle Company ranch when they allegedly let loose dogs to chase and tree a cougar. The AP credited citations issued by Game and Fish Department officers for their information.
Cited along with Bidegain was Larry H. Webb of Newkirk; Billy G. Ivy of Canyon, Texas; Chad W. Hassell of Childress, Texas; and Jason E. Roselius of Oklahoma City.
Roselius was cited for killing a cougar without a valid license. It is unclear whether the men shot the cougar or their dogs cornered and killed the cougar, AP said.