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If you saw the news in the midstate, a fellow shot a black bear that was "coming towards him" late at night when he went out to see why his dog was so upset... He actually killed it with one .22 shot...

He dutifully call the PGC, and now he's charged with an illegal kill....

I spoke with Jerry Feaser on Bob Durgin about this yesterday, and the game commission takes the view you have to be "attacked" first.. or at least that was the gist I was getting..

Anyone else catch this story?
 

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Didn't the shooter admit that he wasn't really sure what he was shooting at that night, just that he thought something was coming at him?

As one of the callers noted, suppose it had been a teenager dressed in a black hoodie coming out of the woods, instead of a 220lb bear?

$500 fine might be a bit much, but this guy showed little common sense throughout. If he knew bears were around, perhaps he got skeert, essentially over-reacted and now wants forgiveness for his actions.
 

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Re: Guy shoots bear in "self defense", legal?

Here is the story Karl.
Might as well tell it since you're trying to pick your jury, lol.

Newport, Pa. - Dustin and Mary Lauver live in the woods surrounding Newport, Perry County. Typically, they love the rural setting, but several nights ago a dark shadow was jostling with their chained dog, Tigger.

Dustin Lauver says he went to investigate and took his wife's .22 caliber rifle. "I could see my dog hopping on his back legs. I shot up in the air and away, two warning shots, and still seen it going on like I didn't bother either of them," he said.

Lauver says he walked to his truck and soon saw something coming at him. "I dIdn't even hesitate, I squeezed the trigger," he said. "I told my wife to get inside and she's freaking out." ABC 27 Talkback:


Lauver said he soon realized that he had shot and killed a black bear and called the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Officers hauled off a 222 pound female and left Lauver with a $500 fine for poaching a bear out of season.

"He didn't know what he was shooting at, so this is reckless behavior," said Jerry Feaser, a Game Commission spokesman. "There is no inherent right to automatically kill wildlife that enters your property."

The fine for the crime ranges from $500 to $1,500. The Game Commission says they kept the penalty on the low end because Lauver cooperated, but the couple is struggling financially and says even $500 is too much.

"I don't understand why I gotta get a fine and get penalized for protecting myself, that's what I don't understand," he said.

"It's wrong," Mary Lauver said. "It's like they can't catch a real poacher, they've gotta blame an innocent person. We called them."

The bear was probably going for the dog food left outside. The Game Commission reminds homeowners that bears are trying to fatten up at this time of year and they encourage them to bring in pet food or bird feeders and clean barbecue grills.
 

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How close was the bear when shot? if its super close, say 4 feet or less coming at the guy in the dark and scares the living daylights out of him, swinging a gun and pulling the trigger could easily be seen as self defence. Picture it, your outside and something is tangling with your dog and out of the darkness this black shape is coming at you fast, do you hesitate and make a positive ID (which might only happen when its to late) or do you shoot and ask ?s later. Didnt say it the story but did he have a flash light? a whole bunch of unknowns.
 

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Anyone here ever been in that situation? Armchairing's easy folks. Not trying to start anything but unless you were there... IMHO the PGC overreacted with the hefty fine.

Muab Dib
 

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Another mystery but can say if something was after my dog, would defend it and pity whatever it was.
 

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Re: Guy shoots bear in "self defense", legal?

I seem to be a bear magnet, Maub. Plenty of encounters in state parks, picking berries (both here and in Alaska) and never a problem.

I've ran directly at them yelling to get them out of the campground smorgasbord. I never got charged or felt in danger; however; I may be more informed on black bear behavior than this guy.

He apparently wasn't threatend to the point that he could leave his dog, walk to his truck, send his wife another direction (to the house)-

Wondering here. He fired warning shots, then went to his truck... to reload? I mean, if he was that afraid, sent his wife to the house (alone and freaking out, lol), why go to the truck?
 

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Yep...been in that situation a couple of times...the first bear I ever saw in the woods was barreling down a path right at me during firearms deer season.....also had one lunge at me at camp (my own fault as I was taking pics of it)

I wasnt present at this fellows home to make an assumption about his situation....but from all experiences I have had with black bears here in Pa......there always seems to be an out, but humans fail to take that avenue...shooting it seems to be much easier.

My one question is the same as above...if you see something wrong....why go to the truck and not the house?
A flashlight could have revealed what the object was.
 

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I concour yelling usually makes bears move off. if the bear was on my dog I pity the bear since I have a 19 pound butt kickin'- name takin'- jack russel and a 222 female bear is nothing to it. actually and realisticly if there was a bear encounter such as this one I wouldnt have shot unless I seen what I was shooting at. hindsight is always 20/20
 

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http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/DocketSheets/MDJ.aspx

Well, type in Dustin Lauver, Perry County and see what we have here.

Seems we have charges of:

harrassment;

operating a vehicle without insurance;

35 § 780-113 §§ A30 F MANUF/DEL/POSS/W INT MANUF OR DEL
(I think thus is intent to deliver marijuana)

criminal mischief, tampering with property

Description Disposition
1 18 § 2709 §§ A1 S HARASSMENT/STRIKE, SHOVE, KICK, ETC. Guilty by Trial (Lower Court)

That was only one page, and one county. I see he has lived elsewhere.
 

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Well folks. What you'll get here on HPA of course is predominantly Bear sympathizers. After all, this is a hunting website. But... it seems the GC determined the Bear was after the dog's food, correct ? The dog was on private property, and properly chained correct ? I mean after all, are we not supposed to have our dogs under control ? If the dog stays outside, on a chain, pen, etc... does it not deserve to eat food ?
Ms. Bear should maybe procure her food in the woods, and not mooch the neighborhood dog food. That ends up being a nuisance Bear on it's way to euthanization. And why would a landowner having a Bear a few feet away, IN HIS YARD, already tussling with his dog, not perceive it as a potential threat. Sorry folks, but at first blush, and based on how the story was written, I'll side with the homeowner..... fer now.
 

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With all due respect Kathy, what does smoking or selling pot, and driving without insurance have to do with shooting a Bear in his yard ?
 

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Kind of tells me that this guy had a disrespect for the law in general Fleroo. Plus, I heard rumors that he wasn't allowed to own a gun. Trying to confirm that.

If its true, then the PGC and the court was generous to say the least.
 

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What is the law regarding guns and an "M" charge. Doesn't say what grade of M- but one year?
 

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I know a gaggle of folks that smoked pot, lost licenses due to DUI (and still drove), etc.... that are otherwise pretty decent folks, and would have no problem with them taking out what possibly could be perceived as a threatening Bear.
 

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Fleroo,

I don't disagree.

However, there is more to this than what was reported IMO.

If the bear was so "threatening", why did he walk to his truck and not get IN it?
 
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