CHEHALIS, Wash. – State Fish and Wildlife investigators say social media helped them arrest a suspected illegal hunter.
Cody Young plead not guilty to a felony illegal big game hunting charge Thursday afternoon.
Young of McCleary is accused of obtaining a cougar hunting permit hours after he killed a cougar with an arrow in Lewis County in September.
Fish and Wildlife Officer Warren Becker first got suspicious when the hunter came in to register his kill. Becker noticed the cougar was killed on the same day the permit was obtained, something Becker said is rare.
“It was definitely our nosy investigative skills that allowed us to where we got to go,” said Becker.
Investigators looked at Young’s Facebook page and learned he posted a picture of the dead cougar hours before surveillance video showed him getting a permit.
A search warrant of cell phone records showed Young also texted a friend before getting the permit, said Becker. According to court documents, Young texted to friend that he “smoked a cougar.”
Young faces a felony charge because of a 2012 conviction for killing an elk without a proper license.
In addition to prison time, if convicted, he could lose hunting privileges for ten years.