Dover Man Accused Of Illegally Killing Bear

A Hudson Valley homeowner has been accused of allegedly killing a black bear without provocation. 

ECO Kevin Wamsley and the bear.
ECO Kevin Wamsley and the bear. Photo Credit: NY State Department of Environmental Conservation

The incident took place in Dutchess County on Saturday, April 22 in the town of Dover. 

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call for shots fired and witnessed an individual dragging the bear back to his residence when they arrived at the location.

The sheriff's office contacted State Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Kevin Wamsley who responded to the scene and interviewed the homeowner who claimed the bear attacked his dog, prompting him to shoot it, DEC said.

Wamsley determined the homeowner's story did not match the physical evidence located at the scene and challenged it. He later concluded that the homeowner's dog went after the bear and the resident followed both animals before shooting and killing the bear, officials said.

The homeowner, who was not named, was issued several tickets including:

  • Taking bear out of season
  • Illegal take of protected wildlife
  • Hunting/taking a protected animal without a license. 

The bear was seized as evidence and donated.

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