TWIN FALLS, Idaho - A duck hunter who says he killed a cougar in self-defense in October wanted to keep the big cat's pelt, but state officials confiscated it.

John Stevens of Twin Falls was hunting at Island Park Reservoir in eastern Idaho when he noticed a female cougar crouched about 15 yards away from a hunting companion.

He shot the cougar with his shotgun, then cleaned and tagged it, before reporting the kill to Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials.

Instead of letting him to keep the pelt, however, officials seized the cat.

Stevens now says he may purchase the pelt at an auction held by the agency next April - even though he thinks the cat is rightfully his property.

"Personally, I still think they should return the cat," he said.

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