UPDATED: State wildlife agency signs off on bear killing

The dead bear prior to its being taken away. KLH | Union

The dead bear prior to its being taken away. KLH | Union

Note: below is an updated version of this story containing new information from the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW). The original story is below the update. – Ed.

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

SUNNY BRAE – The California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) has concluded that the shotgun killing of a young bear last Wednesday night was justified. The Sunny Brae resident who shot the bear, Matthew Hartman, was issued a depredation permit, which retroactively allows the kill, by investigating CDFW Warden Matthew Renner.

Hartman said he shot the bear, which was outside of the front fence at his Beverly Drive home at the time, because it was attacking his dogs. "He felt a legitimate threat to his safety and property," said CDFW spokesman Andrew Hughan. "You're allowed to protect your health and safety."

Some of Hartman's neighbors had objected to the young bear's death, stating that it posed no danger to the neighborhood. The neighbors held that abundant household garbage littering the area around Hartman's home created an attractive nuisance that drew in the foraging bear. Hughan discounted that argument.

"It doesn't matter if the property is as well maintained as the neighbors think it should be," Hughan said. "Our first responsibility is the safety of human beings. Safety of humans is paramount to the safety of a bear every time."

Hughan said that the investigating wardens are well experienced in separating truth from fiction, and that Hartman's concerns proved valid. "They're cops," he said of the CDFW field personnel. "They've heard everything, and they know right away whether it's legitimate or not."

After talking to Hartman, Warden Renner issued the depredation permit on the spot. “He did his investigation that morning and determined that the homeowner was within the law for shooting the bear,” Hughan said.

While baiting a bear and then shooting it is illegal, a unkempt yard and adjacent public areas littered with food containers and other fragrant garbage may also be a violation – but not in this case.

Intentionally placed attractants is illegal under regulations that prohibit feeding and additional regulations prohibit attractants for purpose of baiting to take animals,” Hughan said. “ Chronic and careless disregard for placement of what can be creating a nuisance attractant can be a violation under feeding as well.”

Neighbors claim they’ve filed four complaints in recent months about garbage surrounding Hartman’s house. A Public Records Act request has been filed with the city to verify any complaints and abatement action the city may have taken. Nonetheless, the incident won’t be revisited.

No,” Hughan said in response to a question about revoking the depredation permit if a history of negligent disregard by the resident was established. “The homeowner was within the law at the time. Public safety is the number one priority and no matter what caused the bear to come into the yard or for him to feel threatened it’s still his right, and legal to protect yourself from an animal."

Hartman, a renter, told a reporter that the bear was outside the front yard's outer fence, not that it had entered the yard. Hughan said the official incident report, which could clarify details, will be available early next week.

Hughan said he had received calls from area residents asking about the incident. "I understand the emotions," he said, but added, "As police would say, this is a good shot."

He identified the animal as a California black bear weighing 250 lbs. The carcass was donated to Humboldt State's Dept. of Biological Sciences for study.

 

 

Below is the original version of this story. – Ed.

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

SUNNY BRAE – The California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) has concluded that the shotgun killing of a young bear Wednesday night was justified. The Sunny Brae resident who shot the bear, Matthew Hartman, was issued a depredation permit, which retroactively allows the kill, by investigating CDFW Warden Matthew Renner.

Hartman said he shot the bear, which was outside of the front fence at his Beverly Drive home at the time, because it was attacking his dogs. "He felt a legitimate threat to his safety and property," said CDFW spokesman Andrew Hughan. "You're allowed to protect your health and safety."

Some of Hartman's neighbors had objected to the young bear's death, stating that it posed no danger to the neighborhood. The neighbors held that abundant household garbage littering the area around Hartman's home created an attractive nuisance that drew in the foraging bear. Hughan discounted that argument.

"It doesn't matter if the property is as well maintained as the neighbors think it should be," he said. "Our first responsibility is the safety of human beings. Safety of humans is paramount to the safety of a bear every time."

Hughan said that the investigating wardens are well experienced in separating truth from fiction, and that Hartman's concerns proved valid. "They're cops," he said of the CDFW field personnel. "They've heard everything, and they know right away whether it's legitimate or not."

Hughan said he had received calls from area residents asking about the incident. "I understand the emotions," he said, but added, "As police would say, this is a good shot."

He identified the animal as a California black bear weighing 250 lbs. The carcass was donated to Humboldt State's Dept. of Biological Sciences for study.

Note: we're expecting further information from CDFW, and will update this post when it becomes available. – Ed.

 

 

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One Comment;

  1. 2016 Draft Options said:

    The gubbamint worker (A LOCAL Renner Petroleum family member working as a trojan horse environmentalist animal protector) said this,

    “It doesn’t matter if the property is as well maintained as the neighbors think it should be,” he said. “Our first responsibility is the safety of human beings. Safety of humans is paramount to the safety of a bear every time.”

    Hartman (relative to LOCAL CITIZEN Ron Hartman?) was never threatened, but he claims his dogs were.

    Liars in Society are getting away with atrocities committed against LIFE.

    So, when law and citizen collude to cover up truth by using falsified applications of law, ya gotta know that society is in a downfall.

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