Federal, state officers catch bear poachers

By DeeAnna Haney | Feb 20, 2013
Operation Something Bruin
(Video by: GeorgiaWildlife)

State and federal wildlife officers are cracking down on bear poaching in western North Carolina and eastern Georgia.

Wednesday, authorities announced a multi-agency undercover operation that's been in the works for the past four years. The investigation, which was named Operation Something Bruin, yielded 80 wildlife violators and about 980 violations stemming mostly from illegal bear hunting.

Officers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations including bear baiting, illegal taking of bears, deer and other wildlife, illegal use of dogs, operation of illegal bear enclosures in North Carolina, and guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.

They began making arrests Tuesday, although the names of those being charged have not yet been released.

Those who are convicted face possible jail time and a minimum fine of $2,000.

“Operation Something Bruin documented hundreds of wildlife violations. Today’s arrests bring an immediate halt to those crimes and, we hope, will make would-be violators think twice before breaking the law..." said Col. Dale Caveny, law enforcement chief for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service were also involved in the investigation.

According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, fewer than 10 percent of all wildlife crimes are reported. Wildlife officers ask anyone who sees what they think could be a violation to call 1-800-662-7137.



Comments (2)
Posted by: Linda Sexton | Feb 23, 2013 17:32

Thankful that these people are busted.  They give hunters a bad name.  There are ethical hunters, and then there are the hunters who have no sense in this county.  You will find their hounds at the Haywood County Animal Shelter where they take them when they no longer have any use for them.  Most of these hounds end up in the land fill.  Don't blame the animal shelter.  They do not like putting down dogs who could make good pets.  Blame the irresponsible people who call themselves hunters, but just dump their dogs at the end of the season like they are a pair of old boots.  Shame on them. Shame, shame, shame.

Posted by: Robert E Johnson | Feb 24, 2013 10:15

I am so happy and pleased the poachers are found out. It is a shame one can not abide the law.

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