PA: Hunter Baited Trophy Bear
December 8, 2009
Game Commission: Hunter Baited Trophy Bear By Peggy Lee
In Luzerne County, a hunter is in hot water with the state game
commission. Charles Olsen Jr. of Wilkes-Barre is accused of using pastries
to bait a 700-pound bear.
The 707 pound black bear killed in Wyoming County could have bagged Olsen
a trophy. Instead, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said it bagged him much
more than that.
The Wilkes-Barre man brought the bear to the commission's northeast
regional office in Dallas Township on November 25.
"The officer that was in charge of the check station mentioned that there
may be a problem with the bear and at that point he blurted out that he
killed the bear over bait," said Daniel Figured of the game commission.
Officers said Olsen illegally killed the bear over a pile a pastries he
set out as bait.
The commission said it was on to him a week before bear season started.
That's when one of their officers noticed a pick-up truck driving along
Route 309 in Dallas loaded with store-bought pastries.
After running the truck's license plate, Charles Olsen's name came up.
"That information from that vehicle was given to all check stations, bear
check stations, which all legal bears have to be brought into," said
At the Gander Mountain store in Dickson City, hunter Bob Holden thinks
harsher penalties are needed.
"They said he may lose his license. I think it should be automatic," said
Holden. "It should be just taken away."
The commission said if Olsen had shot the bear legally, it would have
been the largest bear harvested this season.
In Lehman Township, hunter Mike Palkovic said the prize wouldn't matter
if you got it by cheating.
"Why would you want to put a trophy on a wall or have a rug or something
made that you really didn't get legally?" asked Palkovic.
Along with possible fines and a loss of his hunting privileges for at
least three years, the game commission also plans to ask a judge for $5,000
in restitution for the trophy-class bear.
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