The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency announced late Tuesday that a Knoxville woman has been charged with violations related to stealing a bear-hunting dog during an active hunt in Blount County earlier this month.

According to TWRA, on Nov 2, Sandra Lucille Inman of Knoxville allegedly interfered with a lawful bear hunt by catching and stealing a bear hunting dog from a Maryville hunter during an active bear hunt.

Inman has since been charged with theft of property, violation of the Hunter Protection Act and removal of a transmitting collar.

Inman has not yet been assigned a court date.

The TWRA says the use of dogs to hunt bears is a traditional hunting method in Tennessee and throughout much of North America.

“Wildlife Officers have fielded reports of theft of hunting dogs for many years and it is usually difficult to get a resolution for the hunter. Fortunately, Wildlife Officers were able to quickly return the dog to the hunter and identify and charge the person responsible for stealing the dog,” TWRA officials said. 

TWRA Wildlife Officers also thanked the Blount County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the case.

“The public is reminded that if you see hunting dogs in the area, to leave them alone and never remove a GPS transmitting collar,” TWRA stated in the news release.  

If you have an illegal hunting issue or concern in East Tennessee, contact the TWRA Region 4 dispatcher at 1-800-831-1174.