(Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, November 29, 2012 11:24 AM
MARKSVILLE (AP) — State and federal agents are looking for whoever shot and killed a Louisiana black bear found on an all-terrain vehicle trail in Avoyelles Parish.
State wildlife agents believe it was killed Tuesday, the day that a hunter reported the shooting the same day.
The bear was male, about 2 years old and 100 pounds, according to agents from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"We have solved cases like this in the past with the public's help and we are again asking for any leads that might assist us in this investigation," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division.
Louisiana black bears have been protected as threatened since 1992, under both state and federal law. Violators can be sentenced to up to six months in jail, with up to $50,000 in fines and $10,000 in restitution.
Anyone with information can call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF's tip411 program. There's a free "LADWF Tips" iPhone app, or people can just text LADWF and their tip to 847411.
Rewards up to $1,000 are offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever shot the bear.
As the number of bears has increased in the last couple of years, more have crossed hunters' paths.
The department encourages hunters to carry bear spray and know a few rules about bear encounters.
If possible, anyone running across a bear should back away and head in another direction. If the bear comes closer, raise your arms over your head and speak in a normal tone of voice. If that doesn't stop the bear, wave your arms, yell, and, if you have it, use the spray.
The department says hunters also should know that baiting deer with corn will bring in bears, too — but bears don't like soybeans as much.