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FL: man who illegally killed a black bear loses rifle, hunting privileges

Franklin County man fined; loses rifle, hunting privileges for killing bear

Posted: Jun 24, 2009
Reporter: Toni Brannon, F-W-C

Franklin County man who illegally killed a black bear last winter is finding out that justice can be costly.

Larry Joe Colson, 55, of Apalachicola, appeared before Gulf County Judge Fred Whitten last week and pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge. He must pay a $1,150 fine; forfeit his .30-06 rifle and scope to the state; serve six months probation and see his hunting and fishing privileges suspended for three years.

His license suspension will apply not only to Florida but also in 26 other states who are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

Colson was charged last January after Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission law enforcement officers found a dead bear on his hunting lease in Gulf County. He later admitted killing the bear.

The leased land is owned by the St. Joe Company. The company has since notified Colson he is banned from hunting on any of their lands for the next five years.

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