Alaska Men Charged with Illegally Killing Bear Sow, Cubs

Two Alaska men have been charged with multiple violations after an investigation into an illegal poaching incident involving a black bear sow and two cubs.
Alaska Men Charged with Illegally Killing Bear Sow, Cubs

What factors contribute to a black bear's size? Is it simply genetics or a host of things that help some bruins grow larger than others?

A father and son in Alaska have been charged with multiple violations after a wildlife troopers investigation into an illegal poaching incident involving a black bear sow and two cubs.

Alaska Wildlife Trooper's investigated the deaths of the bears, which were part of an on0-camera study by the U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Department of Fish & Game. The sow and two cubs, described in the wildlife trooper report as "shrieking" during the shootings, were killed while in their den.

“Hunting laws and regulations exist to help ensure that the many species of Alaska wildlife will continue to exist for generations to come, and Wildlife Troopers take them very seriously,” AWT Colonel Steve Hall said in a press release. “Tools used in the commission of a crime are at times seized based upon the severity of the crime. In this case, numerous crimes, including felonies, are believed to have been committed; the truck and boat used to transport the suspects to and from the crime scene were seized.”

This is a disgusting action that any legitimate, ethical hunter should be furious about. The blatant disregard for hunting laws gives legitimate, ethical hunters a black eye among the non-hunting and anti-hunting communities.

Turning a blind eye and saying, "Eh, it's Alaska. I don't live there." or "I don't hunt bears so who cares?" is merely sticking their heads in the sand. The more times these disgusting actions in any state occur without genuine outcry from hunters, instead of just the anti-hunting and non-hunting communities, the worse it eventually will be for all of us.

Here's the report from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers:

On Monday, August 6 Andrew Renner, 41 of Palmer and Owen Renner, 18 of Palmer, were charged by information on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from a poaching incident on April 14, 2018. A. Renner and O. Renner shot and killed a sow black bear, along with its two cubs, in its den on Esther Island in Prince William Sound. The bears were a part of a USFS/ADF&G bear study. As a part of the study, the sow was collared and a motion activated game audio/video camera was set up at the den site.

The video shows A. Renner and O. Renner skiing up to the den and then O. Renner firing two shots at the denning sow. A. Renner then kills the shrieking newborn bear cubs and discards their bodies away from the den. Two days after the animals were killed, A. Renner and O. Renner return to the kill site to pick up the shells and to dispose of the dead bear cubs.

On April 30, A. Renner brought the sow black bear skin and the collar to ADF&G in Palmer and reported he killed the animal near Granite Bay in Prince William Sound on April 14. He further reported that while he realized after shooting it that the sow had teats, no cubs were present or located. The vessel, vehicle used to facilitate the hunt, and hunting rifles were seized during the investigation.

Charges against the men include Unlawfully Take Female Bear with Cubs, Unlawfully Take Bear Cub x 2, Possess/Transport Illegally Taken Game x 3. A. Renner was additionally charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and Unsworn Falsification in the Second Degree. Troopers also seized property that was used to facilitate the illegal activity.

Featured image: iStock

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