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Trial set in Musick mountain lion case

RAPID CITY -- A Mitchell man accused of illegally using dogs to hunt a mountain lion in February in Pennington County is scheduled to stand trial before a judge in June.

Wade Musick, 41, was ticketed for illegally using dogs to hunt lions, a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Musick's attorney, Matthew Kinney, of Spearfish, appeared for Musick at an April 10 dispositional hearing in Rapid City, at which a court trial was scheduled for June. The court trial is set to be held before Magistrate Judge Scott Bogue, Kinney said.

James Jucht, 71, of Sioux Falls, and David Terveen, 63, of Emery, each face the charge of violating the conditions of a big game license in connection with the incident. The charge is a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Both are scheduled to appear in court Friday in Rapid City.

The lion was shot Feb. 1 about three miles south of Hill City, Conservation Officer Blair Waite said earlier this month in an interview with The Daily Republic. Jucht allegedly shot the treed lion and Terveen allegedly assisted in the shooting.

Kinney claims Musick was using his dogs to hunt a bobcat, which is legal in South Dakota, when the dogs mistakenly began tracking a mountain lion.

"(Musick) didn't hunt any mountain lion whatsoever," Kinney said in an interview Wednesday with The Daily Republic. "His dogs were hunting a bobcat."

Musick and his dogs weren't present when the mountain lion was shot, Kinney said.

The use of dogs to hunt mountain lions was allowed this year on an experimental basis, but only within Custer State Park. The lion at issue was allegedly shot outside the park boundaries and also before the in-park dog hunting season opened.

The female lion that was shot had two kittens, one of which was later euthanized. The other is now in a zoo.