Scott Bidegain, former chairman of the New Mexico Game Commission, and four other defendants face a, April 30 preliminary hearingin Quay County Magistrate Court, accused of misdemeanors in a cougar killing.
All five defendants are accused of participating in an illegal cougar hunt on the T-4 Ranch, which Bidegain’s family owns and operates. Bidegain resigned from the game commission because of the charges.
The 180,000-acre T-4 ranch lies in Quay, San Miguel and Guadalupe counties. The cougar killing occurred in San Miguel County.
Charged with Bidegain are Larry H. Webb of Newkirk; Billy G. Ivy of Canyon, Texas; Chad W. Hassell of Childress, Texas; and Jason E. Roselius of Oklahoma City, Okla. All have pleaded not guilty.
Roselius was cited for killing a cougar without a valid license.
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.