Hunters fined, lose license after being found guilty of bear baiting

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two Tellico Plains men were fined and banned last week from entering Cherokee National Forest and hunting anywhere for the next two years.

On Sept. 4, Keith Bernard McJunkin, 59, and Levi Zachary Wilson, 31, were found guilty of baiting bears inside the national forest. McJunkin and Wilson were sentenced to probation and banned from hunting or entering any national forest for a period of two years. 

McJunkin was also ordered to pay $1,600 in fines, and Wilson was ordered to pay $1,100 in fines.

The two were members of a group of hunters who baited and trapped bears in July and August of 2018. Terry Worth McJunkin, 37, Joseph Don Taylor, 38, and Derrick F. Cathey, 32, each previously pleaded guilty to hunting bear over bait. 

Terry McJunkin was sentenced to five years of probation with a 5-year hunting ban and five-year ban from national forests. He was also ordered to pay $4,000 in fines. Joseph Taylor and Derrick Cathey were each sentenced to two years of probation with a year hunting and national forest ban.

Joseph Taylor was also ordered to pay $3,000 in fines and $250 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service. Derrick Cathey was ordered to pay $250 in fines.

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