Man Illegally Kills Bear at New York Campground, Hides Body Under Pool
A man has been caught illegally killing a bear at an Upstate New York campground and hiding the carcass under a pool.
An anonymous tip came into the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers about someone shooting and killing a bear at the Stratton Falls Campground in the town of Roxbury.
Two Environmental Conservation Officers responded to the campground and noticed a man acting suspiciously in the area near where the bear had reportedly been killed. After further investigation, the Officers located the bear hidden under a swimming pool.
The subject admitted to shooting the bear earlier that morning because it was walking by his home.
Misdemeanor charges for shooting and killing a bear illegally, killing a bear out of season, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling were issued.
Bear hunting season runs anywhere from September to January depending on where you're hunting in New York and what you're hunting with.
Bears in New York
There are 6,000 to 8,000 bears in New York State, according to the DEC. Everyone should limit food sources to reduce bear conflicts. Take down bird feeders. Keep pet food inside and lock up trash cans. Bears learn from experience. If they find food, they will be back.
The DEC has tips on how to keep bears away from your property and what to do if you encounter one.
To Avoid Bears Coming Onto Your Property:
- Clean your grill by turning it on high for several minutes after you are done cooking to burn residual odors.
- Lock up your trash. Bears love garbage. Keep all trash in sealed cans inside a building like a garage or shed. Anything with an odor can attract a bear.
- Do not feed your pets outside. Leftover food or even an empty dish can attract a bear.
- Do not have refrigerators or freezers outside or on porches. Bears can smell what is inside.
- Use noise to scare bears away: Yell, clap, or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear.
- Stay calm: Walk slowly and speak in a loud and calm voice.
- Leave slowly: Cautiously back away from the bear and leave the area.
- Approach, surround, or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.
- Run from a bear: They may chase.
- Throw your backpack or food bag at an approaching bear: This will only encourage bears to approach and "bully" people to get food. By teaching a bear to approach humans for food, you are endangering yourself, other campers/residents, and the bears.
- If a bear approaches you: Raise your arms and speak in a loud, calm voice while backing away.
- If a bear charges you: Stand your ground.
- If a bear makes contact with you: Fight back with anything at hand (knife, stick, rocks, or fists).
If You're Camping:
- Throw out all your trash and recyclables.
- Lock up your coolers and food. Store food in either the trunk of your car or in the cab of your truck. Keep windows shut and food and coolers out of sight.
- NEVER keep food, coolers, or scented items in your tent.
- Treat all toiletries as food items. Toiletry products are heavily scented and are as attractive to bears as actual food.
- Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and washbasins clean when not in use.
- Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles, or other refuse into the fireplace. These items do not properly burn and will attract bears with their odors.
- Always remember when exploring the wilderness - you're in their home. Be vigilant and stay safe.