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ATTN: St Mary Parish and Surrounding Residents $5500 Reward

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement agents are seeking leads for two illegally killed black bears in St. Mary Parish.

A citizen alerted authorities on Feb. 14, 2018 about a dead black bear that was located off of Humble Canal in a marshy area about 10 miles south of Franklin.  Agents responded to the scene and found another dead black bear about a mile in a half away from the first reported black bear.

A necropsy revealed that both of the adult male bears were shot and illegally killed around Feb. 2 to 4, which was a weekend.

The Humane Society of the United States, the Acadiana Chapter of Safari Club International, the Safari Club International Foundation and LDWF’s Operation Game Thief program are teaming up to offer a reward totaling $5,500 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing of these black bears.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program.  To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day. Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.

Possible Bear Sighting Near Lake Charles

Daryl Arsement, an avid bow hunter from Sulphur, caught something on camera he says he didn’t think existed in Calcasieu Parish… black bears! Daryl was out checking cameras, doing some preseason scouting, and trimming lanes on July 15th at his deer lease near Gillis. Gillis is a small town located in central Calcasieu Parish, about 20 miles North of Lake Charles.

Trail cam photo from Daryl Arsement

“I left this particular camera out last hunting season and hadn’t been back to check it since. The battery was long dead when I pulled the card today. In fact, it died 13 days after the bear picture. I checked the pictures on my phone using a card reader while I was out there and thought at first glance it was just a huge hog. I had only noticed the one to the far left. After passing the picture around to a few lease members by text we soon agreed on the conclusion that we were looking at 3 black bears. A big one on the left, a little one in the middle, and another one’s face can be seen clearly on the right. That one on the right was the one for me that positively identified them as bears.”

Arsement stated that he nor anyone else on the lease had seen any previous sign or reason to suspect that a bear, much less 3 bears where living on their property.

While Calcasieu Parish lies well within the historic range of the Louisiana black bear, sightings are extremely rare. Their primary documented breeding range is well to the east along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers and the delta to the south.

LA Black Bear Known Range and Sightings Map Credit: Robert Greco, USFWS.

As a result of intensive work from Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries along with multiple non-profit and government organizations, Louisiana’s black bears have recovered from as few as 80 animals in an isolated corner of the state to a population today that could number as many as 1,000 healthy thriving black bears.

I know what you’re thinking. The conservation and restoration effort is a storybook and textbook display of success but hunters won’t be getting a crack at them anytime soon, says the department. They must first determine that the population is sustainable without the endangered species listing which was removed in 2016.

While these sure look like bears we won’t know for certain until LADWF biologists can do a little investigating. What do you think?

 

 

Justin Lanclos- Founder/Editor

If you come across any interesting trail cam photos or other outdoor stories please send them to info@louisianabowhunter.com

 

Is a Bear Season in LA’s future?

bearfawn

Picture from unknown source

I’ve posted pictures of bears eating fawns and some have claimed that the fawns must be road kill. Hard to make that argument in this picture! With the delisting of the Louisiana black bear recently behind us, what do you think it will take to get a season developed on these curious and beautiful creatures? Black bear numbers are notably on the rise, especially in the Mississippi River corridor. They have no natural predators and are “opportunistic” omnivors much like the feral hog. But how high will bear density have to get and how much of an impact will they make on whitetail fawn mortality before we are allowed to control their numbers? We don’t hate black bears and we definitly don’t have issues with them being here. After all, they are a native species that was here long before we were. I credit the effort the state, and LADWF has put forth to see this nearly extinct subspecies of bear come back strong. As a bow hunter, and a deer manager, I just want a chance to hunt them once they reach a sustainable population. All questions and answers to which only Baton Rouge and Wildlife and Fisheries can provide insight and clarity to. Weigh in with your comments below.

black bear

Black Bear at Tensas NWR. Photo by Justin Lanclos