Jack Husted tells The Associated Press that he was unaware of a hunting season for Gunnison prairie dogs when he took a friend’s 13-year-old son out shooting in Springerville in April and let him kill the animal.
Husted says he learned days later at a commission meeting that the hunting season had ended March 31. He then reported the shooting and believed he would be disciplined.
He received a citation instead and pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor Tuesday.
State Game and Fish Department spokesman Jim Paxon called Husted’s action exemplary but says it doesn’t erase the violation.