UPDATE: Duluth Man Convicted of Illegally Dumping Bear Carcass
UPDATE: 2/4/22 10:30 am: The identified Duluth man in the case has now been convicted of two crimes. According to the Pioneer Press, the man pleaded guilty and was convicted on January 27th, 2022 of illegal transportation of big game and wanton waste in the case.
The man was sentenced to unsupervised probation and was ordered to pay $540 in fines, court fees and restitution to the state for the value of the bear. He also forfeited the bow he used to illegally kill the bear. Both crimes he was convicted for are misdemeanors.
The other charges of littering and violation of bear hunting regulations, were dismissed by Senior State District Court Judge Mark Starr in Duluth.
UPDATE 12/16/21 9:45 am: After a long investigation and the story circulating social media the past few months, a Duluth man has been identified for illegally shooting the bear. According to the DNT, the man was charged with several misdemeanors including:
One count of illegally transporting big game (up to a $4,000 fine and one year in jail).
One count of wanton waste, for not recovering the bear soon enough to use the meat (up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail).
One count of bear hunting violations, for hunting in a zone where he wasn’t licensed to hunt (up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail).
One count of littering, for dumping the carcass on public property.
The man confessed to shooting the bear with a bow and arrow outside his father's house and admitted to not having a valid bear hunting license at the time. There was no mention or comment on why the man took the head of the bear.
Original Post: Over the weekend, a body of a headless bear was found near a Duluth Hiking Trail in the Morley Heights neighborhood. Minnesota conservations officers are requesting the public's help for more information.
Bear season did open up September 1st, but there is still no reason why a bear carcass was dropped off in a public parking lot. According to DNT, Minnesota Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan was on the scene. Duncan did go on to say:
Right now the only crime we know for sure is littering. It was dumped there illegally. It is bear season and we just don’t know yet the whole story, why or how it ended up there
As a parent of three young kids, I couldn't imagine talking them on a nice nature hike just to find the body of a headless bear in the parking lot. My kids even enjoy the numerous parks we have in Duluth. What if I took them to the park and then we decided to go on a hike? All three of my kids love animals, I can only imagine it was a pretty grizzly scene.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, bear hunting season is September 1st - October 17th. The DNR site also has a ton of good material covering everything you need to know, including proper tagging and registering locations in the area.
I still can't believe someone took the head from a bear and left the body in a public area. If anyone has any information on the case, they are asked to call Duncan at 218-348-9401 or the Minnesota TIP hotline at 800-652-9093.