Most Charges Dropped Against Wyoming Man Who Illegally Kept Wildlife Parts

A Powell man initially faced prison time over illegal possession of wildlife parts was given a much lighter sentence after 15 of 18 charges were dropped in a plea agreement. He was fined just over $2,000 and will serve a year of unsupervised probation.

Mark Heinz

January 26, 20243 min read

Grizzly with three cubs 1 26 24
(Getty Images)

A Powell, Wyoming, man who initially faced possible prison time over allegations tied to the killings of four grizzlies and illegally keeping wildlife parts was given a much lighter sentence after a plea agreement.

Grant Cadwallader has pleaded guilty to three of the 18 misdemeanor charges he initially faced, and the other 15 were dropped, according to an agreement approved this week by Park County Circuit Court Judge Ed Luhm.

Cadwallader was fined $2,160 and ordered to serve a year of unsupervised probation, according to court records. A 90-day jail sentence was suspended. He also lost his hunting privileges through Jan. 31, 2030, according to court records.

Because Wyoming is a member of the 49-state Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, that means he can’t legally hunt in any of the other member states. That includes every state except Hawaii.

He pleaded guilty to three charges of illegally possessing and/or transporting bear, eagle and bighorn sheep parts.

Other charges stemming from allegations that Cadwallader illegally possessed or transported various other wildlife parts were dropped.

Had he faced the full weight of all the charges, he could have been sentenced to up to a year in prison, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution.

Started With Ex-Wife’s Tip

Some of the charges filed against Cadwallader were tied to allegations of wildlife-related violations dating back 20 years.

Wildlife agents launched an investigation in 2019, after his ex-wife tipped them off that Cadwallader was allegedly in possession of various parts of wild animals, according to court records.

Alleged Grizzly Killings

The investigation included allegations that Cadwallader had killed four grizzlies, including two cubs.

Prosecutors claimed that Cadwallader failed to report killing a charging grizzly that he and another man shot while shed antler hunting in a remote part of the North Fork drainage in Park County sometime between 2017 and 2020, according to court documents.

It is legal to kill a grizzly in self-defense in Wyoming, but such killings must be immediately reported to wildlife agents.

In a separate incident in roughly the same area, thought to have happened sometime around 2002-2004, Cadwallader allegedly shot a female grizzly after it charged him while he was shed antler hunting in the Elk Fork Drainage in Park County. He then shot and killed that grizzly’s two cubs, estimated to be about 30 pounds each, according to an affidavit written by Wyoming Game And Fish Department Warden Travis Crane.

During a 2021 interview with Crane and a federal wildlife agent, Cadwallader said he “felt horrible” about killing the cubs.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter