7 SC men charged after mama bear killed with babies by her side - WSPA.com

7 SC men charged after mama bear killed with babies by her side

Posted: Updated:
PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. -

Killing a mama bear with cubs at her side and baiting bears with sweets to make them easy targets -- those are some of the crimes seven men in the upstate are charged with committing.

The arrests capped off the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources' four-year investigation into illegal black bear hunting, mostly in the Jocassee Gorge area.

The seven hunters from Greenville, Pickens and Oconee Counties were arrested Thursday.

"We do have a good bear population now. It has not always been like that. And basically, we're the only ones here to protect that resource," said South Carolina DNR Sgt. D.J. Riley.

Riley said hunters go after bears for their fur, their meat, and for decorations like mounts and rugs.

There are South Carolina laws in place to protect the bear population.

There are only two weeks a year when bear hunting is legal. You can do still hunting with no dogs Oct. 17-23. You can do party hunting with dogs Oct. 24-30. You need a hunting license, a big game permit and a bear tag.

But it's never legal to lure bears with sweets, hunt bears that weigh less than 100 pounds, kill a mama bear with cubs, or sell any part of a black bear.

"The penalties are stiff. The fine amounts, the jail time is stiff. So we hope it'll make people think in the future," said Riley.

Riley said the seven men charged in this investigation did not work together.

They could face fines of up to $2,500 and up to two years behind bars.

Charles Blowers, 63, of Sunset was charged with conspiracy to violate wildlife laws, illegal trapping and illegally taking a bear or bear parts.

David Brown, 41, of Liberty was charged with conspiracy to violate wildlife laws, illegally taking a bear or bear parts and hunting on land without consent.

Wesley Caylor Hedden, 34, of Central was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Thomas Mann, 35, of Travelers Rest was charged with conspiracy to violate wildlife laws.

Ty Cooper Mills, 23, of Marietta was charged with conspiracy to violate wildlife laws.

Sherwood Lanier Patterson, 64, of Seneca was charged with conspiracy to violate wildlife laws, illegally taking a bear or bear parts and hunting without consent.

Jason Russell Sullivan, 27, of Central was charged with conspiracy to violate wildlife laws and hunting without a license, tag or stamp.

All seven are now out on bond.

You can help keep the Upstate's bear population safe from poachers. This investigation was sparked by tips from people like you. If you come across something you think is a violation, call the DNR's 24-hour hotline: 1-800-922-5431. Callers can remain anonymous.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Anderson Woman Entrapped In Overturned Car Drives Off Okay

    Anderson Woman Entrapped In Overturned Car Drives Off Okay

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:37 AM EDT2014-04-21 05:37:12 GMT
    Emergency responders help woman get out of overturned vehicle by placing a ladder on the side of her car. Emergency responders help woman get out of overturned vehicle by placing a ladder on the side of her car.
    An Anderson woman who was entrapped in her overturned vehicle was able to drive off uninjured. Pelzer Emergency Medical Services, Wren Firefighters and South Carolina Highway Patrol all responded to a call for an overturned vehicle on US 29 near Shiloh Church Road late Sunday night.
    An Anderson woman who was entrapped in her overturned vehicle was able to drive off uninjured. Pelzer Emergency Medical Services, Wren Firefighters and South Carolina Highway Patrol all responded to a call for an overturned vehicle on US 29 near Shiloh Church Road late Sunday night.
  • Teen Stowaway Survives In Wheel Well of Maui Flight

    Teen Stowaway Survives In Wheel Well of Maui Flight

    Monday, April 21 2014 12:30 AM EDT2014-04-21 04:30:34 GMT
    Teen stowaway survives in wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines plane flight from California to Hawaii.Teen stowaway survives in wheel well of Hawaiian Airlines plane flight from California to Hawaii.
    FBI officials say a 16 year old boy stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii and survived.
    FBI officials say a 16 year old boy stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii and survived.
  • Update: Amber Alert For Child Abduction Cancelled

    Update: Amber Alert For Child Abduction Cancelled

    Monday, April 21 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-21 04:07:49 GMT
    Amber Alert in North Carolina has been cancelled.Amber Alert in North Carolina has been cancelled.
    The AMBER Alert for a missing child, Tamiyah Elssy Bryant, issued Saturday has been cancelled.  The North Carolina Amber Alert page says the child was located in Emporia, VA unharmed.
    The AMBER Alert for a missing child, Tamiyah Elssy Bryant, issued Saturday has been cancelled.  The North Carolina Amber Alert page says the child was located in Emporia, VA unharmed.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.