Two male adults and a juvenile hunter were cited by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement officials after they reportedly illegally shot a black bear in West Feliciana Parish.
According to WAFB 9, the two adult hunters, Justin A. Olano and Robert J. Salts II, were cited for intentional concealment of wildlife. Salts was cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor and his son for killing a Louisiana Black Bear. This killing occurred during a closed season. The official obtained evidence of the illegal shooting. They also found evidence of the dumping of a bear west of St. Francisville near the Mississippi River.
Also during the investigation, authorities discovered a black bear skull in a creek near Cat Island Road. They determined that the bear was taken from Olano’s property. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries also issued a statement about the situation. “Agents then questioned Salts II and his son and discovered that they were deer hunting on Olano’s property on November 5th,” the agency shared. “When Salts II’s son shot at a silhouette of an animal moving through the area they were hunting, which turned out to be a black bear. Salts II then made contact with Olano about the situation and they decided to load up the bear and dump it in the creek off Cat Island Road.”
The agency stated hunters are to always identify their targets before pulling the trigger for any wildlife they are hunting. “Some Louisiana Black Bears are part of a long-term monitoring program,” it was explained. “That provides researchers with information on black bear populations, productivity, and population viability in the state of Louisiana.”
Louisiana Officials Say Taking a Black Bear During Closing Season Has a Hefty Fine As Well As Jail Time
Meanwhile, Louisiana Wildlife and Fishers stated there is a fine and jail time for hunters who kill black bears off-season.
“Taking a bear during a closed season and intentional concealment of wildlife brings a $900 to $950 fine,” the agency explained. “And up to 120 days in jail for each offense. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor carries up to a $500 fine and six months in jail.”
The agency also stated that Olano and Salts II may also face civil restitution for the replacement value of the illegally taken black bear. This is totaling to $10,000. Along with the black bear incident, the agency cited two men for alleged migratory game bird violations. Those hunters were cited for operating a guided duck hunt without hunting guide licenses. They also were accused of violating migratory game bird tagging requirements. One of the hunters was cited for possessing over the limit of migratory game birds. He had also transported fully dressed migratory game birds.