Oregon state wildlife managers say a Lincoln County mother and her son were fined $15,000 and have lost their hunting privileges for three years after illegally shooting and wasting a pair of black bear cubs last October.
ODFW reports that Gail Faye Freer, 52, and Corey Douglas Loving II, 29, were trespassing on private lands when they spotted a bear in some blackberry brambles and Freer encouraged Loving to shoot it.
After the shot, they “decided to return later to retrieve the bear when they were certain it had died,” the agency reports.
When they came back, they saw a bear foraging in the same spot and Loving, “thinking it was the same bear,” according to ODFW, shot it.
“Loving and Freer eventually approached the bushes expecting to find a single bear cub with two gunshot wounds. Instead, they found two bear cubs, each with a fatal gunshot wound,” ODFW says.
Afterwards, an anonymous call to Oregon’s Turn In Poachers tip line led state fish and wildlife troopers to investigate. Both bear cubs were found and they had gone to waste.
ODFW states that it’s illegal to hunt bears less than a year old, or sows with cubs that are under a year old. According to agency district wildlife biologist Jason Kirchner, the two cubs were about eight months old and still had baby teeth.
“There is no excuse for taking two 8-month-old bear cubs, plus the meat was not taken care of and went to waste,” Kirchner said in a press release. “This is a loss to Oregonians and to those who respect, value, enjoy, and manage our state’s wildlife resources.”
Freer and Loving were also sentenced to a 60-month probation, according to ODFW.
To report poaching incidents or habitat damage to Oregon wildlife authorities, call (800) 452-7888, text *OSP (*677) from your smartphone or email TIP@osp.oregon.gov.