PA: Hunter shoots bear illegally
November 21, 2009
'I'm not ever buying a hunting license again'
Perry County man says he was protecting his dog when he shot a 9-year-old
bear, but a judge rules the shooting wasn't justified
Saturday, November 21, 2009 BY CHRIS A. COUROGEN
The Pennsylvania Game Commission can have his hunting license back,
Dustin W. Lauver said Friday morning after he was found guilty of killing a
bear out of season and ordered to pay more than $2,000 in fines and costs.
"I'm not ever buying a hunting license again," Lauver said.
It's not because Lauver likes the idea of giving up hunting. But he'd
rather do that than give another penny of his money to the agency he feels
wrongfully prosecuted him for shooting a 220-pound bear that was roaming
behind his Perry County home and driving Lauver's pet pit bull crazy.
"I can't afford to pay that fine," he said outside District Judge Daniel
McGuire's court after the judge found him guilty of killing the bear. "I'll
end up losing my house, my truck, everything."
According to court testimony, Lauver told game wardens he grabbed his
.22-caliber rifle and went to investigate after hearing his dog, Tigger,
barking strangely shortly after midnight Oct. 28. After firing a warning
shot into the mountainside behind his home, he fired a second shot at
"something black" moving in his direction from a hillside 50 feet from his
Lauver said he did not even know it was a bear until he and his uncle
found the nearly 9-year-old animal dead with a bullet hole in the front of
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