Michigan DNR fears 3 bear cubs orphaned after poacher kills mother

Female bear found shot dead in northeast Manistee County; DNR officers seek poaching suspect

A trail camera photo provided to the Department of Natural Resourcesby witnesses shows a bear sow and three cubs seen in the vicinity of the poaching incident. DNR conservation officers believe the sowin the trail camera photo is the onethat was poached. (Michigan DNR)

MANISTEE COUNTY, Mich. – A female black bear was found dead with a shotgun wound Nov. 16 in northeast Manistee County, possibly leaving three cubs orphaned.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are seeking any and all information on this killing which they are calling a poaching. The cubs haven't been found.

Witnesses told the DNR someone killed the mother bear on the evening of Nov. 16. Officers are looking for a white man who was seen that evening at the site of the killing.

Suspect description:

He is described as a thin man standing about 5 feet 8 inches or 5 feet 10 inches tall. He had facial hair and left the area driving a dark-colored pickup truck.

Anyone with information may call the DNR's Report All Poaching (RAP) line at 800-292-7800. Information can be left anonymously.

Information also can be provided online at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers. Information leading to an arrest and conviction is eligible for a cash reward funded by the Game and Fish Protection Fund.

According to the DNR, poaching bear in Michigan carries a restitution payment of $1,500 per bear, a minimum $200 fine and jail time of up to 90 days. In addition, a violator's hunting privileges may be suspended for up to three years.

Manistee County is on the northwest coast of Michigan's lower peninsula. It is about 50 miles southwest of Traverse City.