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Former UFC champion Brock Lesnar pleads guilty to Alberta hunting charge

12/20/2011 04:22 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST
MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has admitted to a hunting infraction in southern Alberta.

A lawyer for the mixed martial arts star appeared in a Medicine Hat court and pleaded guilty on his client's behalf to improper tagging of an animal during a hunting trip in November 2010.

Lesnar was fined $1,725 and given a six-month hunting suspension.

Two other charges of leaving meat to rot and illegal possession of wildlife were dropped.

Lesnar, 34, was accused by fish and wildlife officials of shooting a mule deer buck but only packing the trophy head out.

The director of the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society said it is considered unethical to leave edible meat in the field.

The former NCAA wrestling champion and pro wrestling star was charged along with a hunting guide.

A native of South Dakota who now makes his home in Minnesota, the six-foot-three 265-pound Lesnar regularly hunts in Canada.

Lesnar said in a statement released Tuesday that he was on a filmed hunt sponsored by Fusion Ammunition and guided by Trophy Hunters Alberta.

"In Alberta, Americans can't hunt without a licensed outfitter. The outfitter is there to make sure you follow the rules," he said.

"I had two deer tags for the trip which meant I could legally shoot two deer. On the first day of the trip, I shot a mule deer. On the second day, I shot a white tail. Video from the hunt has been on the Internet for over a year. After I shot the mule deer, I failed to immediately tag it. As far as I was involved, that's all there is to it."

Lesnar said he has paid his fine and the matter is closed.

"It's the kind of thing that happens to hunters all the time. I want to thank the Canadian authorities for their co-operation in resolving this misunderstanding. I love Canada and I can't wait to go back to Alberta for a hunt."

As far as the spoilage charge that was withdrawn, Lesnar said he couldn't bring deer meat back across the border.

"I trusted the outfitter to properly handle it. They are professionals and I understand it was handled appropriately."

His fighting career has twice been interrupted by diverticulitis, an intestinal disease. Lesnar returns to the cage Dec. 30 when he takes on Alistair Overeem at UFC 141 in Las Vegas.

"I'm glad to put this behind me, so I can focus on my fight...December 30," he said.

(CHAT)

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the hunting suspension was for one month.

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