Agents Cite Three for Illegal Harvesting of Black Bear – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

Agents are citing three for illegally harvesting black bears

Published 2:26 pm Wednesday 23 November 2022

By Adam Einck

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

ST. FRANCISVILLE, La — Law enforcement officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries on Nov. 21 cited two men and a youth for their alleged role in the illegal shooting of a Louisiana black bear in the West Feliciana community.

Agents cited Justin A. Olano, 24, of Livonia, and Robert J. Salts II, 41, of Pearl River, for intentionally concealing wildlife. Agents also cited Salts II for contributing to the crime of a minor and his son for taking a Louisiana Black Bear during a closed season.

Agents obtained evidence of the illegal shooting and dumping of a black bear west of St. Francisville near the Mississippi River. During the investigation, agents found a black bear skull in a creek near Cat Island Road and determined that the bear was taken from Olano’s property.

Agents questioned Olano about the bear and learned that Salts II and his 15-year-old son recently hunted deer on his property. Agents then questioned Salts II and his son and found that they were hunting deer on Olano’s property on November 5 when Salts II’s son shot at the silhouette of an animal moving through the hunting area, which turned out to be a black bear . Salts II then contacted Olano about the situation and they decided to load up the bear and dump it in the creek next to Cat Island Road.

Hunters are advised to always identify their targets before pulling the trigger on any wildlife they may be hunting. Some Louisiana black bears are part of a long-term surveillance program that is providing researchers with information about black bear populations, productivity and population viability in the state of Louisiana.

Capturing a bear during a closed season and intentionally hiding wildlife carries a $900-$950 fine and up to 120 days in prison for each offense. Involvement in a minor’s crime carries a fine of up to $500 and six months in prison.

Olano and Salts II may also face civil compensation totaling $10,000 for the replacement value of the illegally captured black bear.

Agents involved in the case are Lt. Will Roberts, Senior Agent Nicholas Firmin, and Sgt. Mason Spillman.


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