Man Who Released Bobcat from Trap Receives Probation

Man Who Released Bobcat from Trap Receives Probation

Adam Roich, Sublette County Sheriff's Office photo

ROCK SPRINGS — A Boulder resident was placed on probation after he let a bobcat out of a legal trap back in November of 2022.

Adam Roich, 40, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful release/removal of a furbearer/predator from a trap in the Circuit Court of Judge John Prokos last week.

Roich was given a 180 day suspended jail sentence with credit given for 3 days served and was placed on six months unsupervised probation. He was also ordered to pay $1,000 in fines, $61.15 in restitution, and $70 in court costs and fees. As part of his probationary conditions, Roich was ordered not to go near any legally set traps or monitors and to stay at least 500 yards from them at all times.

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The charge stems from an incident that occurred on November 22, 2022, near the Little Bitter Creak area south of Rock Springs. According to court documents, on that day Wyoming Game and Fish Department Game Warden Andy Roosa was notified by Ken Wolff that Roich had posted on his Facebook page that he had released a bobcat from a leg-hold trap and had been injured in the process. The Facebook post showed Roich with cuts to his arm and face and included a photo of the bobcat. Wolff told Roosa he had obtained the information through screenshots his friends sent him. Shortly, after the screenshots were made, the post was deleted.

Later on that same day, Roosa received a report from Greg Buel that one of his leg-hold traps a Duke #1 3/4 or #3 had been taken. Buel said he doesn’t drive to the trap location, but there were tire tracks leading to it. Roosa visited the trap site and found evidence that a struggle had taken place. He located a black Polar Extreme winter cap, blood on the rocks and ground, and rocks that matched the ones in Roich’s photo of the bobcat. He also located the tire tracks and took photos of them.

Roosa then contacted Game Warden Adam Hymas and asked him to visit Roich’s residence to take photos of the tire tracks in the driveway, which he did. After reviewing those tracks, it was determined they closely resembled those at the trap site, documents state.

Upon contact with Roich, his phone was seized along with a Bridger leg-hold trap, a Duke #1 3/4 leg-hold trap and a chain. DNA samples were also collected. Officers also noticed a black Polar Extreme winter cap matching the one found at the trap location. Officers searched the phone and recovered deleted photos of Roich, including the Facebook post photos of him with the bobcat and with cuts to his arm and face. They recovered other photos of the trapped bobcat as well.

Roosa spoke to Roich about the incident and Roich said he had been hiking when he came across a bobcat in a trap that attacked him. Roich said the bobcat was released from the trap during the attack. He also told Roosa he had written a letter to Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission explaining what happened.

According to Roich’s letter, “I spent a lot of time hiking and enjoying the great outdoors of this state and had a recent incident with a distressed animal caught in a leg-hold trap. Right close to a main county road near Rock Springs I encountered a bobcat by surprise, which was stuck in a leg-hold trap attached to a chain. This cat jumped on me and chewed me up pretty good. It took everything I had to get control of this bobcat. During this process, I was able to free the cat from the trap as I really did not know what else to do in the situation.”

Roich’s letter goes on to state that he was in shock and did what he thought was right at the time. He went on to state that the practice of trapping is a “barbaric practice” that needs to stop. He also sent photos to Governor Gordon and the Game and Fish Commission.