In 2008 David Adams was hunting in a tree stand on public Corps of Engineers land near West Point Lake in Troup County, Georgia. He had a big cat in his sights and shot it with a muzzleloader. At first it was believed to have been an escaped pet, but after tests were completed it was a confirmed Florida panther. Florida panthers are protected by the endangered species act. This Florida panther had travelled into Georgia where it was shot.
Adams was fined $2,000 and put on probation for 2 years. During probation he is not allowed to do any hunting or have a hunting license anywhere in the United States. Adams knew he was shooting a cougar when he pulled the trigger and there is no open season on cougar in the state of Georgia.
Florida panthers have been protected by the endangered species act since the late 60s. Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service have been working together to bring the panther back from near extinction. They now number in the 100s. The shot cat was nearly 600 miles from its known habitat. From The Augusta Chronicle .