Trophy Class Black Bear Killed Illegally

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BEAR CREEK TOWNSHIP – Authorities said a 650-pound black bear found dead over the weekend was killed illegally in Luzerne County.

Neighbors thought that bear had been hit and killed by a car, but Pennsylvania Game Commission officials said an examination now shows that the trophy class black bear was illegally killed out of season.

Law Enforcement Supervisor Mark Rutkowski told Newswatch 16 that the bear suffered a lethal injury to the spine sometime Friday night or Saturday morning, and wandered onto a front yard where it died.

"A projectile from an elevated platform or position, from what we can understand, which dictates the massive damage and the internal injuries,” said Rutkowski. "People could be looking at anything from a misdemeanor to a felony, and also restitution; replacement costs up to $5,000 for this animal.”

Officals said the animal was discovered near Laurel Run Road in Bear Creek Township.

Jason Bawiec lives near the property where the dead bear was found, and said neighbors were upset to hear that the trophy class animal had been killed illegally.

"It`s a beautiful creature. It has no reason to be taken out of season. They don`t get that big overnight. That`s a long time, a lot of growth,” said Bawiec. “It’s awful. You have more than enough opportunity if you want to go for a bear, deer, and turkey, whatever; just wait.”

Anyone with information of the illegal bear killing can call the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Northeast Regional Office near Dallas at 570-675-1143.

Officials said calls we be kept confidential and the person that provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction could be eligible for a reward.



    Really, a 650 pound trophy.??? I wonder why this beast wasn’t taken down by the Game Commission and hauled off to the wilderness.

    We really don’t need these large dangerous creatures living so close to civilization. Looks like game wardens need to get up from the office desk and go out and take a hike in the woods once in a while.

  • H

    Thisshows there are cowards who do what they want and not obey laws. There is a hunting season for a reason. I bet the bear was not attacking anyone or hurting anyone at all. It was probably minding its own business. I am a vegan but I am not against anyone who hunts for food and sport. I am against people killing animals out of their hunting season. There are over 60,000 people dying a year by whom not bears or animals but PEOPLE. Nothing makes this right. I hope they catch the law breakers and take them from their families early like they did the bear. I also live around that erea and something needs to be done. If the bear was in your garbage or yard don’t kill it call someone who can set it free in the woods until bear season.

  • TONY

    $5000. for a bear, and $500 for a family child killed in a U S DRONE STRIKE!! WONDER WHY WE (USA) ARE XXXX

  • Rupert

    If you kill an animal and your family isnt starving, if you kill an animal for sport and not food, then you are the sickest of the sick and should be treated no differently than TED BUNDY, DISGUSTING COLD BLOODED KILLER.

  • Kyle

    It is a beautiful animal and I feel the same way about all animals. Certain animals are hunted during hunting seasons, both for food and to keep the population in check so other animals dont die of unnecessary diseases or starvation. There are people who are not true sportsmen and kill only to kill and they should be dealt with based on ther actions. Viewing and condemning hunters for their passion for hunting is narrow minded and ignornant. I truely hope the coward who shot this regal creature is caught and made an example of.

    • MsM

      What’s narrow minded and ignorant is exlusivity of thought as to what might be considered impassioned sportsmanship. What the world thinks is not centered in NEPA Vally.

  • JP

    I am a bear hunter and am pro gun, but this guy should not be lumped into the same category. Ethical hunters don’t go around shooting animals haphazardly, and this guy should be fined to the maximum extent as a felony, lose all of his firearms, possibly spend some time in jail or maybe doing community service (mowing the lawns of the people that use to watch the bear), and lose all hunting and fishing privleges for life. As for Rupert, maybe you should have reported those hunters as they were not following the law and you were complicit in their activities by doing nothing. Instead you chose to let them continue that behavior by looking the other way. People do it all the time unfortunately, i.e. family know another family member is dealing drugs or lying to get social services benefits. Doesn’t make it right!

  • Greg

    It’s a shame to waste such a great resource. BTW, It’s against the law in PA to feed the bears.

  • Rupert

    (It`s a beautiful creature. It has no reason to be taken out of season.) Who said this? Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, if you do it during a season the bear cannot feel pain, CORRECT? I used to be a hunter until I witnessed animals being shot by drunken idiots and wondering off into the woods and suffering for days, weeks or months before dying in agony, but yet the people that do things like that want a doctor and pain pills every time they get a hang nail. Dummy if you want to impress someone then dont shoot that unarmed animal bring it back to life anyone can kill. How is the REDNECKERY that goes on in this world any different than CHARLIE MANSON? NOT AGAINST GUNS BUT ALL OF THESE DUMMIES WITH GUNS?

    • james

      If you witness someone shooting an animal then that animal runs into the woods and you dont try to find it and put it down, you are just as bad as the “redneckery” in this world.

    • Dan

      “Drunken Idiots” get into cars everyday and cause PEOPLE a lifetime of suffering and agony. Have you given up your drivers license yet? The vast majority of us who hunt, do so legally and ethically.

  • John

    You would rather go to the stores ? What, and buy beef that came from the slaughter house ? Do you know how cows are killed in a slaughter house ? I suggest you research it. Anyway, the killing of the bear out season is horrible and I hope they get whoever is responsible.

  • Peter

    I don’t live to far from the location this happened and I believe he has visit my yard many times. My neighbors and I called him JJ (Jumbo Junior) He loved black oil sun flower seed and marshmallows Last year he had something wrong with his leg and would spread out in my driveway like a rug and eat his food. Last time a saw him was last Friday and his leg was all healed. we’re going to miss JJ. I really hope whoever shot him will have the same fate.

  • Fred

    I may be nieve, but why would someone want to kill a black bear now instead of during the legal PA hunting season in November? Unless you’re a taxidermist who tans your own hides what are you going to do with the animal?

  • kelly

    ok so we have cops just going around shooting dogs and that seems to be ok in everyones eyes but someone else kills a bear and thats not right in everyones eys. neither incidents should be happening but definately cops should not be going around killing dogs.

    • MsM

      I concur, but I dislike hunting anyway…however, I can think of other animals to hunt other than animals that can’t defend themselves. It’s one thing if an animal is charging you, and quite another to shoot and kill for the mere sport of it. Kinda creepy. I know some hunters eat what they shoot, but me I’d rather go to the store..In this case it was not hunting season so whoever did this may have a superiority complex and satiates it by killing something for fun. Creepy. Like those loser kids who killed the donkey.

      • Without Blinders

        Go to the store LOL…where no animals were harmed in the making of your meat right? Typical. Killing is OK if you don’t have to do it or witness it right? At least the animals hunters choose to eat have a chance to live an entire life and live whatever life they have in the wild. Every time you buy meat in the store that’s supporting penned livestock herded through trucks and killed in a slaughter house by the time they’re two. Might want to look in the mirror before you decide to label someone sadistic or harmful to animals.

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