mistaken identity

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Read the story... Is Larsons fine fair?

YES
4
14%
NO
23
79%
UNSURE
2
7%
 
Total votes: 29
dan
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mistaken identity

Unread postby dan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:53 am

case of mistaken identity left a grizzly bear dead and a Powell man facing a fine of $7,500 for taking the bear without a license.

Lawrence Larsen, 38, killed the bear on the North Fork of the Shoshone Forest on May 24.

Larsen said he was advised by legal counsel not to comment.

Game warden Craig Sax said Larsen, whom he described as an “upstanding individual,” was hunting black bear at Newton Creek when the incident happened.

Larsen was at his camp in the Newton Creek Campground when his wife said she had seen a bear near the creek. He said he would look for it after breakfast, Sax said.

He walked up Newton Creek and a third of a mile from the creek, he saw a bear that was dark and “not a large bear.”

He was close enough to see it had no hump or dish to its face, signs that differentiate grizzlies from black bears.

“He judged it to be a black bear but, in actuality, it was a grizzly,” Sax said.

When Larsen went down the hill to retrieve the bear he’d shot, he filled out his black bear tag and then noticed the front claws were more like a grizzly’s than a black bear’s.

The bear had been in and out of the creek searching for fish. The water left the fur darker and flatter.

“It’s easy to see how he ended up shooting a grizzly bear by accident,” Sax said.

Larsen called Game and Fish, which determined he had indeed killed the wrong species bear.

“He took a bear he shouldn’t have,” Sax said. “He took care of the citation by posting bond with the court.

“He realizes those bears on the way to Yellowstone are of extraordinary public value, and he felt bad.”

The high fine was partly in recognition of the value of the protected species and partly because bear hunting is about the pursuit of a trophy not about feeding a family.

“Bear hunting is not something most people do for subsistence,” Sax said. “It’s a totally optional type of hunting opportunity.”

The hunter needs to remember his motivation is just a bear rug or bragging rights and hold himself back from harvesting the bear until he’s absolutely certain it’s the right one, Sax said.

Hunters are well served by making certain every single characteristic is looked at before harvesting, which includes dished face as opposed to straight profile of black bear, the presence of a hump, the proportion of the ears and the size of the bear.

Focusing on mature bears which have better defined characteristics gives the hunters a better trophy and increases the odds of shooting the right animal.

And, avoid a bear that has any possibility of being wet from the rain, snow or having been in water, Sax said.

“The easiest thing for people to make a mistake on is shooting a bear when the hair is wet,” he said. “I recommend to hunters all the time that if the bear’s coat is wet, don’t take the chance.”

Sax said he understands it’s hard to tell the difference, but the bears have to be protected.

“Without a bear management program that responds to protection, the likelihood of us ever being able to have an open hunting season is substantially reduced.”

The difficulty of discerning between bear species means it takes the highest level of discrimination before any decision to take a bear should be made, Sax said.

Hunters mixing up grizzlies and black bears happens every year throughout the Western regions where their territories overlap, sometimes more than once a season.

Last year, three hunters in Park County illegally shot grizzlies thinking they were black bears, Sax said.

The more people study bears and learn how to make the judgments, the less likely they are to shoot the wrong bear.

Larsen is an experienced hunter who “never dreamed he would misjudge and when he did, it astounded him,” Sax said. “But sure enough, the grizzly was mistakenly killed.”


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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby MarshMan » Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:06 am

Fine is to steep
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby Schultzy » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:20 am

Thats a tough one here! $7500 for a mistaken Identity? What would you say If the guy never had any expierence with black bears, would you feel sorry for him then? I feel for the guy being he said he has expierence but none the less he did screw up. Like I said, tough to make a call here.
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby dan » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:19 pm

I feel that he knew fully well that if he called himself in he would indeed get a fine or revocation. But, I think the sticker shock of $7500 for doing the right thing, was a bit high... If they caught him poaching and smuggling a deer out he would of gotten charged 1/2 that... This was an accident, and he turned himself in. Give the man a little mercy.
Fine him? Yes... $7500 ? No way, to steep.
They are telling every hunter out there that if you make a mistake you better hide it and not report it...
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:50 am

totally agree with dan, he could've walked up to that bear realized what he did and left the area he probably would've gotten away with it. Or there would've been a huge investigation months of headache leading to the exact same conclusion. I'd guess that the warden that wrote him that ticket used to work for the WDNR....... :roll:
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby Brad » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:29 pm

I misread the poll, I thought it said is the fine steep so I said yes. I re read it and I should have voted no, I think the fine is ridiculous, so much for doing the right thing! I think the warden is out of line with his bear hunting for sport statement, it should not matter why someone is pursuing a certain species if they are doing it legally, he made a mistake, he should have been given some mercy for sure.
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby blackwolf » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:14 pm

Way too high fine. I have taken the online Grizzly and Black bear test for Montana license and it is just too easy to mistake the 2 under certain conditions when the color can be the same. Many times the humpback of a Grizz just doesn't stand out. I know if I ever have a shot opportunity at a blackie in Montana, I will pass unless I can really study the bear first.
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby Milk Weed Seed » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:30 pm

That fine might as well be a prison rape, for a guy who realized he made a mistake and turned himself in? Not to mention the he most likely caught from his old lady?

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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby Kodiakman » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:43 am

dan wrote:I feel that he knew fully well that if he called himself in he would indeed get a fine or revocation. But, I think the sticker shock of $7500 for doing the right thing, was a bit high... If they caught him poaching and smuggling a deer out he would of gotten charged 1/2 that... This was an accident, and he turned himself in. Give the man a little mercy.
Fine him? Yes... $7500 ? No way, to steep.
They are telling every hunter out there that if you make a mistake you better hide it and not report it...


Yeah at the price I could see people just walking away and pretending like nothing ever happened. "What? There is a dead bear in the creek? No clue how it got there..."
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby whitetail007 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:21 am

this does nothing but force people to be dishonest. the guy called and said he had made a mistake and gets a huge fine. he would have been better off just walking away like nothing happened. i feel he should have been givin a break in the amount of the fine for being honest and calling it in.
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby Stanley » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:50 am

When you turn yourself in you should get a break. It was an honest mistake but a costly one for sure. law enforcement most often has no mercy. This day and age it's about the revenue, let's not forget that.
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby Pullintoobs » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:02 am

We as hunters are expected to know our target 100%. I think the fine was way out of proportion but also feel there should have been some consequence. The guy did turn himself in, but had he gotten away with it with no penalty, I would bet more bears would be accidently shot.
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby dan » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:10 am

I remember reading a story about an old elk hunter. Upper 70's I believe, may have even been in his 80's. Anyway, he shot at what he thought was an elk and it was really another hunter and he mortally wounded him. The old man did everything he could to try and save the guy he shot, and called for help, but by the time advanced medical help got there the young man had died... I read about this in a major hunting magazine and was just sick because the magazine was applauding the fact that the old guy was given a huge prison term, in which he would certainly die in prison...
If it were me, or even my son who got shot, in that case, I would not want the man to go to prison for that mistake... I would have to imagine living with his guilt would be torture enough. Sometimes, we only look close at one side of the picture... Bank robbers on crack that shoot people don't get lifetime sentences... This was a hunting accident.
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Re: mistaken identity

Unread postby rack addict » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:14 am

Dan I totally agree with you 100%! I also think that alot of these dnr guys are not out here to help the sportsman. They bend you over and put it to you any chance they get just looking for a reason. It's to bad that were not allowed to make any mistakes without paying huge penalty's. Makes guys not want to do the right thing if they have to pay that kind of price.


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