Monday, December 2, 2013 was the beginning of the five-day-long bear season in Virginia, but some poachers obviously couldn’t wait and took a large black bear over the weekend. The carcass, which was found by an area woman who wishes to remain anonymous, was found both headless and pawless along a busy road.
“We just knew that it was a bear that was lying in the road because its head and hind legs had been cut off,” she said.
She passed the bear again, even more enraged at the sight.
“I am outraged that someone would do that to an animal,” said the woman.
Virginia Conservation Police with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries took the call, and the report was managed by Captain Milton Robinson who confirmed that they picked up a 150 pound bear, killed with buckshot.
“These are not hunters, they are poachers,” Robinson said. “They shot the bear, took the head and paws, and probably didn’t know where to put the rest of the body, so they dumped it.”
Robinson went on to confirm that no one submitted a Black Bear Collection Card for the animal, which requires tooth collection and must be confirmed at an official bear check station. As we’re all aware, there is a market out there for dead bear.
“They probably didn’t think they could hold it until Monday because you need a special license, and things like that,” Robinson said. “They are collector items and sold on the open market, the black market. The teeth are collectibles even though it is illegal to sell part of a bear … the only good news is we called a person and they harvested the rest of the bear and the meat that could be used.”
Killing a bear out of season is a costly offense, with up to a year in jail and numerous monetary fines. As any hunter knows, reporting acts of poaching is one of the only leads officials get when discovering these unfortunate incidences.
If you or someone you know comes across a poached animal, contact your state authorities ASAP.