Michael Autry

Killed a bear

Kane, PA

Nov. 20, 2000

Autry age 27, of Bridgeville, a Pittsburgh suburb was found guilty in May 2001 and fined $1,000, both for killing the bear and for lying about the circumstances. He could also loose his hunting license.

Autry shot the 240-pound female black bear in its den then dragged the carcass out, took it to a checkpoint and told officials he had killed the animal five miles from the den.

Wildlife officers used the dead bearís DNA to prove that Autry illegally shot the animal in its den.

Another hunter who saw Autry kill the animal, reported the episode to officials, who took the blood and hair samples at both the checkpoint and the den.

The National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in Ashland, Oregon conducted the DNA testing and matched both blood samples.

It is against Pennsylvania State law to shoot a bear in its den, because female bears found in the dens during hunting season are usually pregnant.

Autry will appeal his conviction, arguing that the state law definition of a "den" is not clear.


The Manchester Union Leader