ONEIDA (WATE) – Two men have pleaded guilty to illegally baiting and hunting bears in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
Park rangers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agents were investigating an illegal all-terrain vehicle and found several illegal bait sites actively being hunted. During the investigation, they learned one man had shot a bear illegally within the national park.
Under the plea agreement, both men will lose hunting privileges for a year within the state. One of the men will also have to pay $10,000 in fines and restitution. Neither men were identified in a release from the National Park Service.
Park officials say it is each hunter’s responsibility to know the rules and regulations for hunting and they are encouraged to read both Tennessee game laws and the park’s rules.
Anyone who sees illegal hunting activity at Big South Fork is asked to call (423) 569-9778.