Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are seeking information regarding a bear poaching incident that occurred in the evening of Nov. 16 in northeast Manistee County.
Conservation officers were called to investigate the shooting of a female black bear, found dead of a shotgun wound near a hunting blind on public land in Cleon Township. Witnesses said that the bear had been killed on Nov. 16 at approximately 5:30 p.m. Three bear cubs are believed to have been orphaned as a result of the bear being killed, although the cubs were not located.
A trail camera photo provided to the Department of Natural Resources by witnesses shows a bear sow and three cubs seen in the vicinity of the poaching incident on November 11. DNR conservation officers believe the sow in the trail camera photo is the one that was poached.
Conservation officers are seeking to interview a white male who was spotted at the scene on Nov. 16. The male is believed to be involved in the killing and is described as having a thin build, standing approximately 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall. The male had facial hair and left the scene driving a dark-colored pickup truck. The DNR Law Enforcement Division is requesting any information to aid in the investigation of this poaching incident.
Anyone with information may call the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) Line at 1-800-292-7800. Information can be left anonymously. Information leading to an arrest and conviction is eligible for a cash reward funded by the Game and Fish Protection Fund.
Poaching bear in Michigan carries a restitution payment of $1,500 per bear, a minimum $200 fine and jail time of up to 90 days. In addition, a violator's hunting privileges may be suspended for up to three years.