Man guilty of baiting and killing bear | AspenTimes.com

Man guilty of baiting and killing bear

Joel Stonington
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – A Minnesota man pleaded guilty Monday to three misdemeanors involving the baiting and killing of a bear.

Craig Miller, 44, of Little Canada, Minn., pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing a black bear, failing to dress or care for the meat and using bait to kill a bear. As part of the plea bargain, a felony charge of willful destruction of big-game wildlife was dropped.

Miller was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation, loss of hunting privileges for five years and fines of $5,300.

Miller killed the bear on Sept. 1 with a bow and arrow, the day before bow hunting season started. He was charged with crimes after he went to a Colorado State Patrol office to get the hide and head sealed, a legal device required by taxidermists.

When the Colorado Division of Wildlife investigated, the meat was found to be wasted and dog food, used for baiting, was at the site. Division officials also saw signs that the bear had been killed before the official start of hunting season.

District Judge Chuck Buss imposed the unusual requirement that Miller donate $500 to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in lieu of community service.

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Miller originally faced permanent loss of hunting privileges and a fine of up to $20,000, had he been convicted of the felony.