Hunter fined $10,000 for killing black bear in Louisiana

A Louisiana man received a $10,000 fine for fatally shooting a black bear — the state mammal — while hunting in a wildlife area last fall. Ronald J. Kimble told investigators he thought the four-year-old bear was a wild hog before fatally shooting her on the grounds of the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area last November, according to Baton Rouge's WAFB-TV.

A "mortality signal" emitted from a radio collar placed around the black bear's neck, the station reported, alerting a biologist with the state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Agents traced the signal, discovering the deceased bear had been shot twice with a large caliber weapon.

The Louisiana black bear qualified as endangered in recent years, only coming off the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's list in 2016, Baton Rouge's The Advocate noted.

Agents found Kimble in January hunting within an area the bear frequented, state wildlife officials said in an announcement. When questioned, he admitted to killing the bear with a .270 rifle. There is no hunting season for black bears in Louisiana.

Kimble was arrested for taking the bear during a closed season, plus another charge: possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The 30-year-old from Lettsworth, Louisiana, was later ordered by Judge John Herke to pay $10,000 in assessed restitution plus $250 in attorney fees, New Orleans' WGNO-TV reported, and his hunting and fishing licenses were revoked.

The licenses can be restored once Kimble pays the full amount, according to The Advocate.

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