CATAWISSA, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania hunter is cleared of a citation for tracking down a wounded bear and shooting him a day after bear season ended in December.

The Bloomsburg Press Enterprise reported Saturday that a district judge issued a not guilty verdict on Friday in the case of 44-year-old Chris Lupini.

Lupini's friend had shot the bear on Dec. 7, the last day of the season. They tracked its trail until dark and resumed their search the next morning, a Sunday, finding it still alive.

Lupini says the bear was staggering with its mouth hanging open. He says he shot it to put it out of its misery.

The Game Commission cited him for hunting on Sunday, seeking a $270 fine and a $1,000 "replacement fee" for the 200-pound bear.


Information from: Press Enterprise,