Illegal Bear Killings Investigated in Alabama

A I, Bear Hunting Magazine

State wildlife officials say a number of black bears have been illegally killed at a hunting club in northern Mobile County this year.

The District Attorney's Office is investigating the case, and officials say they believe that several members of Bucks Outdoorsman Hunting Club in the Chunchula area shot bears over the last two years.

"They were just killing the bears and leaving them there in the woods. The information we received suggests they were just trying to get rid of the bears," said Kevin Dodd, assistant chief of enforcement for the state Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. "We have no indication that they were selling the hides or making ornaments out of the claws. And we have no indications that the bears had bothered anyone."

Officials would not confirm how many bears had been killed, only that it was more than one. No arrests have been made, but state officials said legal action is imminent.

There is no open season for bear hunting in Alabama. The Legislature enacted special penalties for killing bears in 2001.

Penalties for shooting a bear include fines up to $5,000, a year in prison and the loss of hunting and fishing licenses for three years. Vehicles used to hunt bears or haul carcasses can be confiscated.

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