Poachers who shot two bear cubs near Siletz last October must pay $15,000 in damages, lost hunting privileges for three years and will be on bench probation for 60 months, according to Lincoln County Court documents. 52-year old Gail Faye Freer and her son 29-year old Corey Douglas Loving II, both of Siletz, committed the crime on or about Oct. 9, while trespassing on private land. According to law enforcement officials, Loving and Freer were trespassing on private land when they spotted a bear cub wandering among blackberry bushes. Freer encouraged Loving to shoot the cub, which he did.
The two decided to return later to retrieve the bear when they were certain it had died.
When they returned, they spotted a cub foraging in the same place. Loving shot it, thinking it was the same bear. Loving and Freer eventually approached the bushes expecting to find a single bear cub with two gunshot wounds. Instead, they found two bear cubs, each with a fatal gunshot wound. OSP Fish and Wildlife Troopers located the carcasses after an anonymous call to the Turn in Poachers (TIP) Line several days later. Both cubs had been left to waste. Troopers were unable to locate the mother bear, also known as a sow.
It is illegal to hunt bear cubs under one year old, or sows with cubs less than one year old. Bear cubs usually stay with their mothers until they are about 18 months old, then they disperse and establish their own home range. The cubs, which still had baby teeth, were only about 8 months old, according to ODFW District Wildlife Biologist Jason Kirchner. “There is no excuse for taking two 8-month-old bear cubs, plus the meat was not taken care of and went to waste,” Kirchner said, “This is a loss to Oregonians and to those who respect, value, enjoy, and manage our state’s wildlife resources.”
The act shows a blatant disregard for wildlife laws, according to Stop Poaching campaign coordinator Yvonne Shaw. “This was a combination of trespassing, poaching and leaving an animal to waste,” Shaw said, “This demonstrates an attitude of lawlessness while they deprive others of the experience of encountering or hunting these animals during a legal season.”