Man Faces Prison Time For Creating ‘Giant’ Hybrid Sheep To Offer Bigger Hunting Trophies


A Montana rancher is facing the possibility of jail time for illegally breeding a “giant hybrid sheep” species.

Arthur “Jack” Schubarth, 80, from Vaughn, illegally used tissue and testicles from wild sheep killed by hunters in central Asia and the U.S. to breed the “giant” hybrid sheep species. His intention was to sell the species to private hunting preserves in Texas.

During an appearance on Tuesday before a federal judge in Great Falls, Arthur pleaded guilty to felony charges of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to traffic wildlife.

Arthur “Jack” Schubarth, 80, pleaded guilty to felony charges of wildlife trafficking and conspiracy to traffic wildlife

Image credits: Mayukh Karmakar / Pexels (Representational Image)

Legal filings reveal that Arthur, alongside other unnamed conspirators, employed the semen of the Montana Mountain King (MMK) in a scheme to artificially inseminate various species of ewes – all of which were not permitted in Montana – aiming to produce hybrid creatures.

Their objective was to engineer a bigger and more “valuable” species of sheep that would eventually become prized hunting trophies.

Arthur “conspired with at least five other individuals between 2013 and 2021 to create the larger hybrid species of sheep that would garner higher prices from shooting preserves,” read a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Arthur illegally used tissue and testicles from wild sheep to create the “giant” hybrid sheep

“This was an audacious scheme to create massive hybrid sheep species to be sold and hunted as trophies,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD).

“In pursuit of this scheme, Schubarth violated international law and the Lacey Act, both of which protect the viability and health of native populations of animals,” Todd said.

Arthur and his conspirators’ goal was to ultimately offer better hunting trophies

“The kind of crime we uncovered here could threaten the integrity of our wildlife species in Montana,” said Ron Howell, chief of enforcement for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP). “This was a complex case and the partnership between us and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service was critical in solving it.”

Arthur faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for each felony count and a fine of up to $250,000 and three years of supervised release. He will be handed his sentence on July 11.


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