The Snare Guy
On October 8, 2008 McCain contacted Ron Thompson of AZGFD to tell him he was officially working for the AZGFD lion and bear snaring project. Thompson was instrumental in getting McCain the job. He thought the knowledge McCain had of lion and bear activity along the border (through BJDP camera photos) would be beneficial to the snaring project and recommended him to Kirby Bristow (lead field biologist for snaring project). So McCain would now be a snare guy for AZGFD. McCain was hired as a sub-contractor for AZGFD through their lion trapper contractor, Clark’s Guide Services. Thompson also placed McCain on his DEA permit so McCain could posses and utilize the drug Ketamine for lion captures.
In an interview with the USWFS special agents and the Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) in charge of prosecuting the Macho B case, McCain claimed he had a phone conversation with Thompson and Thompson indicated “I want you to put those snares in the very best locations, do you know what I mean?” According to McCain this was a disguise but clear direction to capture a jaguar but not enough to get Thompson in trouble. McCain also stated that he viewed Thompson as his “boss” on the snaring project (Thompson wasn’t really apart of the project except through his involvement with McCain and later Smith). On November 8, 2008 McCain emails some redacted person in part: “the attached photo (it is of a collared female lion) should clue you in on my scams. Yes, I have gotten a gig GPS collaring lions along the border…right now I am paid big bucks to catch the cats. And well that is fun and I have my own jag collar in my pack at all times. Did I say that I am choosing my sites carefully. So, yeah that fucking feds won’t give me permission, so I will just have to accidentally do it.”