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Mass. resident charged with illegally hunting, killing mother bear

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 1/26/2022
Black bear © Provided by WCVB Boston Black bear

A Massachusetts resident is facing multiple criminal charges for illegally hunting and killing a mother black bear, according to environmental police.

The Massachusetts Environmental Police department reported Wednesday that it received a call from an individual in Ashburnham in late 2021. According to authorities, that person wished to self-report that they killed the bear two days after the closure of bear hunting season, and also indicated that they did not realize the season had closed.

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Environmental police officers responded to the person's home and saw a yearling bear cub standing in the person's truck bed, where the dead bear was also located. Officers then found a second yearling cub nearby.

According to officials, a comprehensive investigation into the call revealed that the same person attempted to have the dead bear illegally processed in the state of New Hampshire on the same day they made the report to environmental police.

Police said the person reportedly told a butcher in New Hampshire that the bear had been killed on the final day of bear hunting season. That butcher, however, determined that the bear had been killed that day, a Monday, and not on the final day of bear hunting season like the person originally claimed. The butcher refused to process the bear and then contacted the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

The MEP said the person, who has not been identified, ultimately admitted to shooting the mother bear with a bow and arrow as it fed on birdseed in their backyard after bear hunting season had closed.

Environmental police seized the bow and the bear from the person and charged them with the following: illegal taking of a black bear (Ursus americanus); hunting during closed season; illegal hunting of bear in a baited area; discharge of an arrow within 150 feet of a roadway; multiple counts of hunting within 500 feet of a dwelling in use; falsifying harvest report data; and exporting an illegally-taken bear out of state.

The bear was donated to a local rod and gun club. Environmental police did not disclose what became of the bear's two cubs that were spotted on the person's property.

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