A hunter is accused of shooting what may have been the first black bear on a wildlife refuge in New York with a compound bow.

A spotlight detail in the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge on November 18 turned up a bear shot earlier the same day. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Federal Wildlife officers conducted an investigation to find out who was responsible. 

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Hunter Found

The officers went to the hunter's home where they admitted to shooting the bear with a compound bow.

The subject also failed to turn in a harvest report card indicating he had taken the bear.

A tour of the property uncovered a spike-horn buck, which the hunter told officers he took in the Northern Zone during the big game season. He had a tag for it. It was just the wrong one.

The subject provided the Officers with a completed doe tag for the buck instead of the correct antlered deer tag required in New York.

Tickets & Citations

The hunter was given tickets for improperly tagging an antlered deer and received citations to appear in federal court for the illegal harvest of a black bear on a national wildlife refuge.

Refuge biologists say the black bear was likely the first confirmed sighting on Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge property. Its body was donated to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center.

Wildlife Refuge Hunting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does allow hunting on a national wildlife refuge when it is compatible with the purposes for which the refuge was established and acquired.

The decision to permit hunting on national wildlife refuges is made on a case-by-case basis. Considerations include biological soundness, economic feasibility, effects on other refuge programs and public demand.

Hunting and killing what may have been the first black bear on Montezuma's refuge is not permitted. So is hunting any bear without a license, anywhere in New York State.

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