CA: Bear poacher sentenced to 2 years
Bear poacher sentenced to 2 years
Feb 7 2011
A Navato man will serve two years in prison for bear poaching in Glenn
County, authorities said.
Wayne R. Barsch, 49, was sentenced Friday in Glenn County Superior Court
and will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence because of
prior convictions, according to Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the state
Department of Fish and Game.
Barsch was arrested by authorities after a routine hunting check ended
with Warden Mike Beals confiscating a bear head, four bear paws, a bear gall
bladder, 15 pounds of meat and a .45-caliber handgun, authorities said.
Barsch was reportedly stopped by authorities while hunting in western
Glenn County, Foy said.
Barsch had shot a bear, but was struggling to remove the carcass from the
remote and extremely rugged terrain when wardens approached, Foy said.
A records check revealed Barsch was a convicted felon not allowed to
possess any firearm.
During a search of Barsch’s vehicle, Beals found evidence that Barsch may
have wasted most of the bear as only 15 pounds of meat was located.
“Only 15 pounds of bear meat is far less that what is expected from the
estimated 200 pound bear carcass,” Foy said. “It is a crime in California to
waste meat from any game animal.”
Barsch also failed to tag the bear after killing it, Foy noted.
A probation search of Barsch’s Navato-area home yielded additional bear
parts, including another gall bladder, head, five paws and a bear penis, as
well as possible doe meat.
A bear gall bladder can fetch up to $5,000 on the black market, Foy said,
where at least some people believe it contains medicinal qualities.
“I personally don’t believe it has any magic medicine, but some people
do,” Foy said.
A bear penis is considered by some to be an aphrodisiac, Foy said.
Barsch pleaded guilty in December to one felony count of selling or
purchasing bear meat or parts.
Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of being a felon in possession of a
firearm and ammunition in exchange for the guilty plea, according to court
Barsch will also pay a still undetermined fine and visiting retired
Colusa County Judge John H. Tiernan also revoked Barsch’s hunting and
fishing privileges for life.
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