Utah hunting guide is charged with illegally baiting a bear that Don Trump Jr killed on a 2018 big game trip
- Wade Lemon of Utah is charged with illegally baiting a bear that Trump Jr killed
- Charges stem from a 2018 big game trip Trump Jr took in the Beehive State
- Prosecutors say Lemon illegally laid bait consisting of ‘grain, oil and pastries’
- Trump Jr is not accused of wrongdoing, and DA says he ‘may actually be a victim’
A hunting guide in Utah has been charged with laying illegal bait for a bear that Don Trump Jr shot and killed on a big game hunt in 2018.
Wade Lemon faces up to five years in prison on the felony charge, which was filed in Davis County on Tuesday, just before the four-year statute of limitations expired in the case, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Charging documents accuse Lemon, a popular hunting guide, of leaving a pile of ‘grain, oil and pastries’ in the view of a trail camera marked with his company logo.
Prosecutors say that there is no evidence that the former president’s son knew about the alleged baiting scheme, and he has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case.
Hunting guide Wade Lemon has been accused of using illegal bait to lure a bear that Don Trump Jr harvested in 2018
Don Trump Jr is seen on his May 2018 hunting trip to Utah. Prosecutors say that there is no evidence knew about the alleged baiting scheme, and he has not been accused of wrongdoing
Though court documents do not identify Trump Jr as the hunter who harvested the bear that Lemon allegedly baited, the Utah Department of Natural Resources confirmed his identity as the client on the hunt.
Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings told the Tribune, without naming Trump Jr, 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.’
Arthur Schwartz, a spokesman for Trump Jr, responded to a request for comment late on Saturday by calling a DailyMail.com reporter a ‘ridiculous clown’.
Lemon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told the Tribune in a brief interview that he was surprised by the charges, saying: ‘As far as I knew everything was above board.’
Many US states issue a limited number of tags for hunting bears each year, in order to control the population. But Utah, like other states, has strict rules about the use of bait to lure an animal for the purpose of hunting it.
Trump Jr is seen with guide Wade Lemon (center) on the 2018 trip. He is known to be an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing trips
Trump Jr visited Utah in May of 2018 to help launch Hunter Nation, an advocacy group for hunters
Trump Jr visited Utah in May of 2018 to help launch Hunter Nation, an advocacy group for hunters.
‘Great weekend in Utah with some good friends in the outdoors,’ he wrote in an Instagram post.
According to the Tribune, Trump Jr bagged two rare kills on the trip, a black bear on May 18 and a cougar on May 19.
However, Trump Jr never publicly shared photos of himself with either kill. He is known to be an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing trips.
According to charging documents, a witness identified Lemon giving instructions to his employees over radio for the bear hunt, and the pile of alleged illegal bait was later discovered near his trail cam.
Trump Jr shared some of the vistas and scenery from his Utah trip in an Instagram post
The charging documents also include evidence from an employee who alleged that Lemon had him place the bait in the location several weeks before the hunt.
According to his company website, Lemon has been guiding hunting and outdoors trips in the US and Canada since 1978.
‘At no time in recent history have big game opportunities been better. Each year many record class trophies are taken,’ he wrote in a bio.
‘My family has been ranching and hunting a lot of this country for the past 150 years. There is much beauty and history in this land. Come let me share with you, what I call, ‘God’s Country.”